Government and agency roles

The following Northern Territory and Australian Government agencies have a role in the management and regulation of asbestos.

Northern Territory Government

  • Department of Health (Environmental Health)
  • Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority
  • NT WorkSafe

Australian Government

  • Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency
  • Australian Border Force

Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority

The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) is an independent authority established under the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority Act. The functions of the NT EPA as related to asbestos are:

  • issuing licenses for the transportation and disposal of asbestos under the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act.
  • ensuring that land contaminated with asbestos is appropriately assessed and/or remediated so the land is suitable for its current or proposed use
  • providing technical advice to government and guidance material to the business and community
  • developing and implementing environmental policies and programs including grants programs to assist the community, business and government to adopt sustainable practices.

Contact: (08) 8924 4218 or email ntepa@nt.gov.au

Department of Health - Environmental Health

The Department of Health - Environmental Health Branch is responsible for:

  • providing information and technical advice on managing health risks associated with public asbestos exposure
  • providing advice for homeowners/occupiers on ways to safely maintain or remove asbestos in the home
  • providing advice on the provisions of the Public and Environmental Health Act for a potential asbestos nuisance situation
  • assisting Northern Territory Government agencies with public health advice on asbestos-related issues
  • advising the public on the potential health risks associated with asbestos in the home

Under the public and environmental health legislation, asbestos may be treated as a public health nuisance similar to other contaminants such as pesticide spray drift, refuse accumulation or rodent infestation. Under these provisions, the owner of a property or person causing a nuisance must take all reasonable steps to eliminate the nuisance.

Contact: 1800 095 646 or email envirohealth@nt.gov.au

NT WorkSafe

NT WorkSafe is responsible for the licensing for asbestos removal work and asbestos assessor work under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Regulations. The Regulations require NT WorkSafe to be notified of asbestos removal work 5 days prior to work commencing.

While the Regulations cover all work (not involving transportation) relating to asbestos as well as the management of asbestos in a workplace, it does not cover asbestos in a residence (by specific exemption in the case of residences) unless the residence is a worksite (e.g. during a renovation or demolition) or in any other non-work related circumstance (e.g. legacy waste asbestos).

Contact: 1800 019 115 or email ntworksafe@nt.gov.au

Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency

The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency has been established to provide a national focus on asbestos issues which go beyond workplace safety to encompass environmental and public health issues.

The Agency has broad functions including encouraging, coordinating, monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management.

The Agency also manages the National Asbestos Exposure Register which records the details of members of the Australian community who think they may have been exposed to asbestos containing materials.

Contact: 1300 326 148 or visit www.asbestossafety.gov.au/contact-us

Australian Border Force

An Australia-wide ban on the importation, manufacture and use of all forms of asbestos and asbestos containing products took effect from 31 December 2003. To complement this ban, the import prohibition on asbestos under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations was also introduced. Importing asbestos into Australia is only allowed under very limited circumstances.

Contact 1300 363 263 or email information@customs.gov.au