No More Asbestos In Victorian Schools Under Labor
An Andrews Labor Government will set a goal for all Victorian government schools to be asbestos free by 2020.
Our $100 million plan will provide funding to conduct a full audit, remove immediate risks and accelerate the retirement of old portable classrooms.
Opposition Leader, Daniel Andrews, joined Shadow Minister for Education, James Merlino, and Labor Candidate for Carrum, Sonya Kilkenny, at Seaford North Primary School in Seaford to meet with teachers and students and make the announcement.
Labor will invest $50 million to restart the Government school audit program and remove asbestos that poses an immediate risk to staff and students. Less urgent cases that take more time to solve will also be identified.
Labor will also invest a further $50 million to accelerate the retirement of 250 old portable classrooms which are not already due to be replaced under Labor’s plan to upgrade school buildings or other modernisation programs.
Recent reports reveal up to 1200 of the state’s 1539 Government schools may contain asbestos. Exposure to the substance can cause serious diseases such as cancer and mesothelioma.
Previous partial audits show asbestos in schools can be found in desks, ceilings, cement flues, heating fixtures, switchboards and safes. Some schools were identified as suffering loose asbestos and ‘gross contamination’.
Quotes attributable to Mr Andrews
“Even in this day and age, so many of our little ones are still sitting at old desks in old portables that are riddled with asbestos.”
“Classrooms have to be the safest place in the world for our kids, because they spend half their young lives inside of them.”
“The words ‘gross contamination’ should never appear anywhere near a child’s education.”
“Under Labor, the asbestos will be gone, the risks will be removed and the portables will be replaced, because our kids’ health and safety mean everything.”