Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous crystalline mineral, found in rock formations. Generally, undisturbed asbestos cement products do not pose a health risk as the fibres are bound together in a solid cement matrix. However, if the material is damaged or disturbed, fibres may be released into the air.
The use of power tools for cutting, drilling, grinding, sanding or sawing the material can release a significant number of fibres. The use of high-pressure water blasters to clean the material prior to painting can also release large numbers of fibres so it's important to never perform these activities.
In most cases, the presence of asbestos cement building materials in a home (i.e. a dividing fence) is no cause for alarm. If the materials are in good condition and are not disturbed, they do not present a health hazard. Disturbing the material (i.e. by removal) may create a health hazard where none previously existed.
Any person handling and disposing of asbestos is required to comply with the requirements of the Health (Asbestos) Regulations 1992.
Businesses contracted to remove greater than 10m2 of asbestos are required by WorkSafe WA to hold an asbestos removal licence. Please refer to the WorkSafe website
for a list of restricted and unrestricted licence holders.
For further information on asbestos you may wish to visit the following links:
If you are concerned that asbestos is not being handled correctly, please contact the City’s Environmental Health Services on 9439 0250.
Domestic Wood Heaters
Correct storage of wood and operation of your wood heater is very important to prevent excessive smoke from your chimney that could affect your neighbours.
Wood smoke can significantly affect your neighbours that suffer from respiratory illnesses - especially young children and the elderly. It can also generally cause a nuisance to neighbours by preventing them from being able to use outdoor areas or causing washing on the line to smell of smoke.
A correctly operated wood heater should not produce visible smoke, except for a short time on lighting. Take these steps to ensure a safe burn:
- start your fire with dry kindling and the air intake fully open;
- burn dry seasoned firewood — never burn green, wet or treated firewood;
- always operate your wood heater with the air intake open, even overnight; and
- keep your wood heater burning brightly.
A correctly operated wood heater which is compliant with the Australian and New Zealand Standards (AS/NZS 4013: 2014) should not produce visible smoke, except for a short time on lighting.
Many older, non-compliant wood heaters can also be operated so they emit little or no visible smoke.
An owner or occupier of land within the City of Kwinana on which any works that have the potential to create dust are proposed must prepare and submit for approval a dust management plan before any work commences.