Workplace minister wants Telstra asbestos pits removal a priority.
Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten asked the telco to report back on its capacity to identify all Telstra asbestos pits that contain asbestos and develop a program to prioritise its removal.
“There’s eight million pits. The numbers range, they tell us, between 10 and 20 per cent of these pits may have asbestos-containing materials in them. Obviously, not all of them are to be used in the NBN roll out process.
“We have asked Telstra, we need the best possible information. Obviously, this is a system which has been built up over time.”
Telstra has accepted responsibility, but David Thodey said he could not guarantee more residents would not be exposed.
“We will take every precaution, follow processes that have been defined by Comcare and are world-class in terms of our objective, in terms of compliance, but guarantees is a very strong word.
“We will do everything we can and follow every process we know that is available.”
There have been potential cases of exposure of the deadly material in a number of states as Telstra readies communication pits ahead of the NBN roll-out.
The scares prompted the Government to hold emergency talks in Canberra yesterday involving ministers, Telstra executives, NBN Co officials, union leaders and even the chief medical officer