Frequently asked questions

Answers to frequently asked questions raised by contractors, schools and parents about the asbestos in schools. 

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What is the Asbestos Management Plan?

The Asbestos Management Plan (PDF 3MB) sets out the Department's strategy for minimising the risk of any person on one of the Department's sites being exposed to asbestos. 

Part of the Asbestos Management Plan is an individual asbestos register, which details where we know or suspect asbestos may be located.

This register is a reference tool for contractors so they can check to see if the area they are working in contains or may contain asbestos.  The contractor is then able to take the extra precautions needed.

If my child's school has an asbestos register, does that mean there is asbestos at the school?

No.  We surveyed every room in all of our schools and colleges and used this survey data to develop an asbestos register for all of these sites. You can find details of the survey process in the Asbestos Management Plan at Appendix G - Notes on the Asbestos Survey 2008 and update of information.   

At some of our sites we didn't find any asbestos or suspected asbestos.  The Department has still produced registers for these sites so that contractors can check the register and be certain that no extra precautions are needed

What does "Presumed Asbestos mean"?

As some areas were very difficult to access during the survey, we weren't able to test all materials as thoroughly as materials in accessible areas.  We have therefore erred on the side of caution and listed materials as presumed asbestos in these instances where other factors, such as the age or appearance of the material would indicate that it might be made of asbestos.  

What does "Standard Construction Type" mean?

Many schools across the state were constructed using similar designs and/or construction methods.

We undertook testing on the same building feature (for example exterior eaves) at numerous buildings of the same construction style and age.  Where the results were consistent, we classified the material when we found it in other buildings as "Presumed Asbestos/Standard Construction Type".

This means that the material is likely to contain asbestos, based upon the testing of similar products in similar buildings of similar ages

When will the Asbestos Register be updated?

We will update the asbestos registers annually on the internet

However, as maintenance and other works are undertaken in schools, we will have to update the asbestos registers held in schools to ensure that information is as up to date as possible for our contractors. The Asbestos Management Plan, Appendix G  -  Notes on the Asbestos Survey 2008 and update of information, explains how we will update registers.

I still have questions, where can I find out more information?

You may find answers to many questions about asbestos in the Asbestos Management Plan at Appendix F - What you need to know about asbestos containing materials.

If you have read the Asbestos Management Plan and still have questions, please contact your Regional Asset Management Unit on 132 779 for help.

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