Make sure that no development funds, and no Australian money, funds asbestos products

Australians understand the toxic legacy of asbestos and we can take a leading role in standing up for sustainable and healthy development.

As a Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA supporter, we’re asking you to sign our petition to tell the Australian government that no Australian or international development funds should finance asbestos overseas!

We know that Australia aid money is at risk of financing the asbestos industry in Asia through the Asian Development Bank, which provides tens of billions of dollars in loans and grants each year.

This money is not properly regulated to ensure that no asbestos products are used in development and aid projects.

Currently, the Asian Development Bank’s ‘Safeguard Policy’ prohibits investments that include raw asbestos, but it does not prohibit asbestos cement sheeting where the asbestos content is less than 20%, which includes almost all asbestos cement sheeting.

Above: In Vietnam, asbestos roof sheeting leaves communities a health time-bomb.

This means that victims of natural disasters can be sheltered under roof sheeting contaminated by asbestos. It means that communities can be given an asbestos time-bomb in the form of asbestos sheeting.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is a Governor of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and he can raise this issue at the highest level. Australia provides over $12 billion dollars to the Asian Development Bank and the Treasurer can use his voting power and influence to make sure that no development funds, and no Australian money, funds asbestos products.

Help us tell the Treasurer to make sure that no Australian money finances asbestos in Asia by closing the loophole that allows for asbestos products to contaminate development projects and humanitarian aid.

Above: Asbestos roof sheeting dumps in South East Asia leave communities exposed to dangerous asbestos.

Sixteen years after the asbestos ban came into force in Australia, 4,000 Australians die of asbestos related diseases every year. Globally, around 250,000 people die from asbestos related diseases each year. Still today, 125 million people are exposed to asbestos in their workplace each year.

We know that as long as asbestos is being mined, traded and manufactured around the world, illegal asbestos imports will be found in Australia. By signing the petition to keep Australian money out of asbestos, you can help keep asbestos out of Australia.

Let’s take a stand to stop asbestos everywhere!

In Solidarity,

Kate Lee
Executive Officer