The Federal Government has announced it will invest $10.5 million for the delivery of a national approach to protect Australians from asbestos-related diseases.

Federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, said that the funding would be used to counter the ‘cruel, indiscriminate’ killer.

“Over the next 20 years, up to 40,000 Australians are expected to be diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. There are children not yet born who'll die of an asbestos-related disease,” Mr Shorten said.

The funding will see the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency implement  a plan to counter illegal dumping, to encourage safe disposal and to develop a strategy for the staged removal of all Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs)

The establishment of an independent national agency was a key recommendation of the Asbestos Management Review of 2010.

The Bill to establish the agency is currently before the House of Representatives. It is the Government’s intention that the agency will commence operations from 1 July 2013.