The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency is organising the inaugural International Conference on Asbestos Awareness and Management in Melbourne.

Being held from 17 to 18 November, the international conference will feature leading international and domestic experts in asbestos management, health, advocacy and governance. The event will bring together government, business, legal, medical, union and asbestos advocates to drive change to asbestos safety and management practices.

ASEA chief executive officer Peter Tighe explained that recent high-profile cases such as Mr Fluffy loose-fill insulation and the Wunderlich factory in Melbourne have highlighted the ongoing health risks presented by asbestos.

According to Mr Tighe, Australia was, for decades among the highest per capita users of asbestos in the world, with the carcinogenic fibre included in hundreds of products, many of which can still be found in homes, workplaces and utilities around the country. With asbestos related diseases on the rise in Australia, resulting in the deaths of more than 1000 people each year, a major objective of the conference is to work towards an asbestos-free Australia and eliminate asbestos related diseases in the country.

Being held during National Asbestos Awareness Month, the conference will also examine international efforts to ban asbestos, given that the substance is still used in products manufactured by a number of Australia’s neighbours and major trading partners.

Mr Tighe said the inaugural International Conference on Asbestos Awareness and Management will bring together leading experts from around the world so that they can learn from each other and develop a coordinated response to asbestos that unites governments, businesses, unions, researchers and advocacy representatives to address the deadly legacy of this fibre.

The International Conference on Asbestos Awareness and Management will be held from Monday 17 November to Tuesday 18 November, 2014 at the Crown Conference Centre, Southbank, Melbourne.

The program is available on