Managing asbestos in and on land

Guidance has been developed by the NSW Heads of Asbestos Coordinating Authorities (HACA) to provide general direction on the assessment and management of asbestos in soil. Managing asbestos in soil has implications for the current and future occupants of the land and any workers employed on the site.

The guidance applies principally to the legacy of poor historical on-site management of asbestos materials and not to the illegal disposal or landfilling of waste generated off-site.

See the SafeWork NSW website for

Managing naturally occurring asbestos

Asbestos occurs in some rocks and soils as a natural mineral. Less than one per cent of the land surface of NSW is estimated to have the potential for naturally occurring asbestos within 10 metres of the land surface. With few exceptions, (like road building and maintenance in naturally occurring asbestos areas), the risk of exposure associated with naturally occurring asbestos is very low.

Guidance has been developed by the NSW Heads of Asbestos Coordinating Authorities (HACA) to provide general information on reducing potential exposure to residents, farmers and people managing recreational activities in areas identified with a high probability of naturally occurring asbestos.

This guidance has been developed in the form of three fact sheets

  1. Factsheet 1 - Recreation in areas of naturally occurring asbestos
  2. Factsheet 2 - Residing in areas of naturally occurring asbestos
  3. Factsheet 3 - Farming in areas of naturally occurring asbestos

Geographic information system maps have been developed by NSW Trade and Investment, locating high, medium and low probability areas of naturally occurring asbestos. View the Naturally-occurring asbestos in NSW maps.

If you have any further questions relating to naturally occurring asbestos, please download the NSW Government frequently asked questions sheet on naturally occurring asbestos.

Our response to the 2021 West Australian asbestos guidelines

On 24 August 2021 the West Australian Department of Health published the revised Guidelines for the Assessment, Remediation and Management of Asbestos Contaminated Sites in Western Australia (the WA Asbestos Guidelines). The WA Asbestos Guidelines are a valuable resource for the management of asbestos contaminated sites, and the previous (2009) version of the guidelines has been widely referenced in NSW. However, some parts of the WA Asbestos Guidelines conflict with the legislative framework in NSW, and NSW’s position on best practice asbestos management.

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