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0349 - Finance, Services and Property - BARYULGIL ASBESTOS ISSUES

0349 - BARYULGIL ASBESTOS ISSUES

Barham, Jan to the Minister for Primary Industries, and Minister for Lands and Water representing the Minister for Finance, Services and Property
  1. What the current state of the Baryulgil community and the impacts the asbestos mine has had on residents and mine workers?
    1. How many people are estimated to have been exposed to asbestos at Baryulgil?
    2. How many people have died of asbestos-related causes?
    3. How many asbestos victims are still alive?
    4. What continued care and support is being provided?
  2. What compensation and or medical provision has been provided?
    1. What has happened to the original mine site?
    2. What form of rehabilitation has occurred?
  3. What audit or assessment has been done of asbestos in Baryulgil and surrounding community?
  4. What medical tests of current community members have been undertaken in the last 12 months?
  5. Do Clarence Valley Council or other councils, Roads and Maritime Services or state government contractors use any asbestos bearing rock, such as blue serpentine, or silaceous gravel in any of their civil engineering works such as roads and construction?
    1. Do the roads around the Baryulgil community contain asbestos?
    2. Has the Government undertaken an audit to determine this?
  6. What is the average timeframe for the Dust Diseases Board assessing compensation claims of asbestos related diseases?
  7. What is the 'success' rate of compensation claims with the Dust Diseases Board?
    1. Is there ongoing monitoring of asbestos levels in the soil and air at Baryulgil and surrounds?
    2. What is the frequency of this monitoring and who undertakes it?
  8. In response to the NSW Ombudsman's report of November 2011, what additional funding has the Government provided to help prevent exposure to asbestos throughout New South Wales?
  9. What is the status of the Commonwealth Government's original $160 million loan to New South Wales to ensure that asbestos victims will receive their full entitlement to compensation?
  10. In 2008, it was predicted that approximately 20 per cent of Baryulgil residents would die from asbestos related diseases:
    1. What percentage of residents have died from asbestos related disease?
    2. What is the total percentage expected to be?
    1. Where is the closest respiratory specialist to Baryulgil capable of making an assessment of potential asbestos related disease?
    2. How do Baryulgil residents access this specialist?
Answer -
  1. This question would be more appropriate for the Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy to provide a response.
  2. This question would be more appropriate for the Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy to provide a response
  3. The Workers Compensation Dust Diseases Board (DDB) in Safety, Return to Work and Support has digital searchable records back to January 2000. In the period January 2000 to date, the DDB has provided dust diseases compensation to seven workers who were employed at the Baryulgil asbestos mine. However, there is no way of knowing which occupational exposure in each worker's work history was responsible for their dust disease. For any individual, their exposure at Baryulgil may have been more significant or less significant than other occupational exposures. These seven workers were provided with fortnightly workers' compensation benefits at the statutory rate plus compensation for all hospital and medical expenses which were reasonably necessary as a result of their dust disease.
  4. See answer (1).
  5. See answer (1).
  6. This question would be more appropriate for the Minister for Health to provide a response.
  7. This question would be more appropriate for the Minister for Environment and Minister for Heritage to provide a response.
  8. This question would be more appropriate for the Minister for Environment and Minister for Heritage to provide a response.
  9. In the 2013⁄2014 financial year, the DDB determined 44 per cent of compensation applications within 60 days.
  10. In the financial year 2013⁄2014 the DDB received 516 applications for compensation. In that year the DDB made 422 new awards for compensation. By this crude measure the 'success' rate was 87.6 per cent. However, a proportion of those new awards for compensation were to workers who had applied to the DDB before 1 July 2013.
  11. See answer (1).
  12. The Government's 2011 response to the NSW Ombudsman's 2010 report Responding to the asbestos problem: The need for significant reform in NSW outlined its actions. These included the establishment of the HACA. The HACA's coordinated prevention programs include a State-wide Plan for asbestos, an asbestos blueprint, a model asbestos policy for local councils and a comprehensive public awareness campaign to promote the safe handling of asbestos and help prevent the risk of exposure to asbestos related diseases in the New South Wales community. The State-wide Asbestos Plan targets four priority areas: research, risk, communication, prevention and co-ordination. Funding of $7.78 million was provided specifically for prevention initiatives under the plan. The HACA also provides funding to the annual asbestos awareness campaign.
  13. This question would be more appropriate for the Treasurer to provide a response.
  14. This question would be more appropriate for the Minister for Health to provide a response.
  15. See answer (14).
Question asked on 25 June 2015 (session 56-1) and published in Questions & Answers Paper No. 14
Answer received on 30 July 2015 and printed in Questions & Answers Paper No. 15