The Latrobe Valley Asbestos Taskforce was established by the Victorian Government in 2019 to review how asbestos is managed in the Latrobe Valley.
Part of the activities of the taskforce include understanding and listening to the community, as well as increasing awareness about asbestos.
This survey is the second in a series that will be repeated each year, to measure awareness levels and attitudes towards asbestos.
Today there continues to be a high level of awareness of asbestos and asbestos-related issues in the Latrobe Valley:
- 88% agree that asbestos is very common in Australian buildings
- 83% agree that even a small amount of asbestos can be very dangerous
- 96% agree that anyone doing renovations needs to be mindful of asbestos.
The two most highly rated concerns regarding asbestos are illegal dumping and the health impacts of asbestos exposure.
While almost one third (31%) of all respondents are confident in their own ability to identify asbestos containing materials, only 22% have had any formal training. Over half (56%) have been involved in renovations on properties built before 1990 and 73% state they would do at least part of the work in a kitchen or bathroom renovation themselves.
In responding to the questions about home renovations, 61% completed this section of the survey, with more than half saying they had undertaken home renovations in the past three years, and one in five saying they intended to undertake renovations in the next 12 months.
With regards to home renovation works recently completed, there has been a decrease in the number who undertook a risk of asbestos exposure assessment themselves, instead of engaging professionals. This figure has gone from 36% in 2019 to 15% in 2020, which can only be viewed as positive. However, 9% are still doing asbestos removal themselves. Reasons for doing so include believing they had the skills/knowledge to remove asbestos properly (30%), and to save money (50%).
The questions in this survey have been based on a national benchmark survey undertaken by the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency with permission. Visit https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au for further information.