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How do I manage asbestos on my property?

You are responsible for managing and maintaining any asbestos-containing materials on your property. 

Sealed asbestos that’s in good condition is likely to be low risk. If the asbestos is damaged or disturbed, it becomes a potential health risk.   

If you have asbestos waste on your property, contact your local council or the EPA for advice on asbestos.

How can I check for asbestos?

Identify asbestos-containing materials on your property and ensure you maintain and dispose of them properly.
Man  painting the eaves of a house

How do I maintain asbestos-containing materials? 

Asbestos-containing materials should be removed if possible. 

Asbestos sheeting (such as fibro) and corrugated asbestos (walls, fences and roofing) can be sealed with good quality paint. This prevents the release of fibres.  

If you’re painting or sealing asbestos cement surfaces, work in a ventilated area and follow safety advice.

When you are working with an asbestos-containing product or material, don’t disturb asbestos fibres by: 

  • sanding, scraping or scrubbing 
  • drilling 
  • cutting 
  • water blasting. 

Do I need an asbestos management plan? 

You don’t need an Asbestos Register or management plan for your home if there are no renovations taking place. 

If you’re doing renovations, your local council, state or territory government may consider your property a work site. 

Your workers may need to create and keep an Asbestos Register and management plan. The Asbestos Register identifies the location and condition of asbestos in the building. It also includes details of assumed or suspected asbestos. 

Keep a copy for your records.  

If you are working on a commercial property built before 2004, you need a copy of the Asbestos Register before you start work. 

If the building does not have an Asbestos Register, and it was built before 2004, you can: 

  • assume there is asbestos and use safe working practices, or 
  • have the material tested by an accredited lab before starting work. 

Licensed asbestos removalists must notify SafeWork NSW at least 5 days before starting any licensed asbestos removal work.  

How do I manage loose-fill asbestos? 

Loose-fill asbestos is raw crushed friable asbestos. It was used as ceiling insulation in some NSW homes in the 1960s and 1970s. If you think you may have loose-fill asbestos in your ceiling, do not enter the ceiling space. Contact a licensed asbestos assessor

If your house has loose-fill asbestos insulation, you may be eligible for the NSW Government's Loose-fill Asbestos Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program and Assistance Package

Can I store asbestos waste on my property? 

Yes, you can store asbestos waste if it does not pose a risk to people or the environment. This means: 

  • clearly labelling asbestos waste 
  • securely packaging bonded asbestos material  
  • keeping friable asbestos material in a sealed container  
  • wetting down asbestos-contaminated soils. 

It’s illegal to dispose of asbestos waste in your kerbside bin. 

If someone else removes asbestos waste from your property, it’s still your responsibility to track the disposal through the WasteLocate tracker

What should I do if I find asbestos in the soil? 

If you think you’ve found asbestos-containing materials in soil in your garden, take the same precautions as if you’ve found it inside the house. Contact a licensed asbestos assessor

Be cautious if you accept free fill (soil excavated from one site and used as a base material on another site). It may contain asbestos.   

If you accept contaminated waste onto your property, you are responsible for clean-up costs and managing environmental pollution.