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Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities - Rapid Response Protocol

The Rapid Response Protocol (the protocol) has been developed by the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA) Imported Materials with Asbestos Working Group to enable government agencies to work cooperatively and efficiently across jurisdiction and portfolio lines when products have been identified as containing asbestos and there is concern such products may cross or have crossed state lines. The protocol will ensure that pertinent information is shared by all government agencies with an interest in a particular incident and enable a nationally uniform compliance and enforcement approach to be undertaken in response to future incidents.

The objectives of the protocol are to:

  1. provide a consistent approach to the risk assessment and treatment of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) identified within Australia.
  2. ensure there is a balance of guidance available to the HWSA Imported Materials with Asbestos Working Group (Working Group) and flexibility to address a variety of scenarios.
  3. ensure secure handling of information in line with relevant legislation.
  4. reflect the expectations of the government and community.
  5. provide a clear guide for the allocation of resources in response to allegations made in the form of referrals to any of the members of the Working Group.
  6. allow for the sharing of information amongst members of the Working Group.

Managing the importation of goods or materials containing asbestos into Australia - fact sheet

Asbestos is still widely used in some countries. Despite being a prohibited import in Australia, goods containing asbestos are still being located at the Australian border.

The below fact sheet outlines:

  • how the importation of asbestos is regulated at the Australian border and the products at particular risk of containing asbestos
  • what businesses importing material must do to ensure the imported products do not contain asbestos, and
  • what verifications exist for Australian importers or consumers to show those imported materials do not contain asbestos


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