What to do if you suspect asbestos might be present?
Asbestos-containing materials can be located in multiple areas in domestic properties built or renovated before 1990 and in commercial properties prior to 2004.
You can’t tell if a material contains asbestos just by looking at it. To confirm the presence of asbestos a sample of the material should be tested by a NATA accredited testing laboratory.
If you suspect asbestos might be present and you are planning on renovating all or some parts of your home (such as a kitchen or bathroom) or removing suspected materials (such as a fence, garage or shed), we recommend using a licenced asbestos assessor who will come to your home, take samples (safely) and have the samples tested. Once asbestos is confirmed, you can then arrange for a licenced asbestos removalist to safely and legally remove and dispose of the material.
IMPORTANT: Please note that although some parts of a structure may be non-friable, exposure to the elements and the age of the structure (such as a fence, shed or garage) may have caused other parts of it to become friable which means you can’t remove it yourself and you must use a Class A licenced removalist.
How Expensive Is It To Use A Licenced Professional To Remove Asbestos?
The cost to remove fibro or bonded asbestos can vary. The cost of using a licenced professional includes safe removal and disposal at an authorised waste depot. The first 10 square metres costs on average from $35m² depending on circumstances. Often discounts apply for the removal of metres thereafter. Additional costs may apply, depending on location.
Rough Guide To Costs*
- Scientific testing of asbestos at a NATA accredited lab varies from between $40-140
- A pre-purchase Asbestos Home Inspection by a licenced inspector is approximately $400
- Cost for 300kg of asbestos waste to be disposed of legally costs around $145 and over a tonne costs around $380. Asbestos waste can only be accepted at lawful sites and some might require notice or pre-booking. To locate your closest asbestos disposal facility visit the Asbestos Safety & Eradication Agency’s disposal database
- A licenced removalist starts at around $35m² for the first 10m² and usually includes legal disposal.
*NB: Prices quoted above are estimates only and would vary depending on individual circumstances.
Find a licenced asbestos assessor or removalist in your state or territory
A licenced removalist will come to your home, remove the asbestos safely and dispose of it according to council and government regulations.
When the licenced removalist has disposed of the asbestos, ask the company to provide you with copies of disposal receipts and retain them for your records.
Most states and territory governments in Australia provide an online database of licenced asbestos assessors, removalists (in both classes) and some also list occupational hygienists for testing asbestos. Some also have Asbestos Removal Contractor or Occupational Hygienist Associations that list accredited professionals.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to confirm the contractor has the appropriate class of licence for the asbestos removal job and ask for a copy of their licence prior to engaging them. For more information, contact the regulator in your state or territory.
- Access Canberra provide a database of licenced Asbestos Assessors and Removalists
- WorkSafe NT provides a database of licenced asbestos removalists
- Government of South Australia list of licenced Asbestos assessors and removalists via asbestos.sa.gov.au
- Government of Western Australia does not provide a database of licenced removalists but provides details on how to check a valid licence
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