Worried about your neighbour’s renovations?

29 September 2020

Worried about your neighbour’s renovation project or have an asbestos concern in your neighbourhood?

Renovation or maintenance works that may involve disturbing asbestos-containing materials can cause concern.  It can sometimes be difficult to know what to do if you have asbestos related concerns in your neighbourhood.

We all have a duty not to harm those around us. This duty applies everywhere and to everyone.

Although every situation is unique, there is general advice available for how to deal with these concerns.

The first thing you should do (if you are confident it is safe to do so), is to talk to the person carrying out the work. Tell them about your concerns and find out if they know if the materials do in fact contain asbestos or if the person has had it tested to confirm that it is asbestos-free.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the conversation or if it is not possible to have a discussion with the person concerned, you may need to report the situation.

Health and safety concerns about something happening in a nearby property can usually be addressed by contacting your local council at the first instance.  

  • If the work is being conducted by a neighbour (a home owner or tenant) then your local council should be your first point of contact
  • If work is being carried out by a contractor or tradesperson, you should contact your state or territory work health and safety regulator (e.g. WorkSafe or SafeWork)
  • If you suspect improper removal by professional asbestos removalists, you should contact your state or territory work health and safety regulator
  • If the concern relates to public areas or illegally dumped asbestos in parks or bushland, your local council or state or territory environmental regulator (e.g. EPA) will be able to provide you with advice and assistance. 

The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency has a list of all these contacts for each state and territory here: www.asbestossafety.gov.au/contacts.