Asbestos Inspection Report for VIC Owners Corp

Hi all,

I own a unit in Victoria, in a block of 8. The paid Owners Corp manager believes that the building needs an Asbestos Inspection Report & Register, as the OH&S law(s) may have recently changed.

The OC doesn't directly employ anyone to look after the property. A gardener is regularly hired to keep things neat.

The letter sent to each owner was accompanied by a 1-page, "fear & uncertainty inducing" brochure from a licensed inspector (of course! :rolleyes:). The only Work Safe guidance that I can find says it isn't necessary: this PDF.

The letter I received is very similar to this link.

Does the property need an asbestos inspection? Are they expensive (no costs were quoted)?

I'm suspicious. Am I being silly?

Edit:
To close this out, I contacted Work Safe Victoria who advised that asbestos reporting isn't a requirement. It only applies if an Owners Corporation employs workers, or if it directs/controls/restricts any service provider on how to do their work tasks whilst on-site.
 
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...are you supposed to do some major works to the building soon? Only then would the asbestos inspection possibly be needed.
 
...are you supposed to do some major works to the building soon? Only then would the asbestos inspection possibly be needed.

There's no works planned.

The more I look, the less I see to justify spending the money. Why would a professional manager suggest it?
 
Kickback, get ma buddy to do it now that we must

How old is the property, asbestos was itnabit in the 40s and phased out finally in the 80s

The following list shows approximate dates when products ceased to be manufactured with asbestos fibre.
Asbestos was slowly phased out and some products manufactured around these dates may contain from 3-5 per cent asbestos:

product, last asbestos manuf.date
Hardiflex 1981
Hardiplank 1981
Villaboard 1981
Versilux 1982
Harditherm 1984
Compressed 1984
Drain Pipe 1984
Super Six 1985
Highline 1985
Shadowline 1985
Coverline 1985
Roofing Accessories 1985
Pressure Pipe 1987

Interesting website, erros make fun reading
The Australian Government inacted these uniform laws across all states.
inacted(sic), must be some participle of inactive, typically a close description of government. Enacted
the actual documnet
 
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we are about to do some renovations to a 60s strata unit, to improve rental return and cap growth.
part of the quote for the work included a price for asbestos testing, $480 approx. we understand the need to do this and wonder what others are paying in sa? apparently samples are taken from various places to be tested.

we have not had any notifications from our strata manager about any mandatory testing in sa.
 
The block was built in the 70s, so it's possible that there is asbestos.

Whether every small Owner's Corp in Vic has a generic OH&S responsibility to obtain reports and keep a register.. when there's no building/other work planned.. that's another question.

part of the quote for the work included a price for asbestos testing, $480 approx.

When I did some internal work, I took a sample of 3 to 4 suspicious looking fibre cement boards (bathroom tile backing & bedroom BIR wall covering) and got it tested. I think it was $20-30 ea., and took about a week for results. I notice that now you can purchase an online kit that you mail to the laboratory.

I had to be very careful in taking the sample though.
 
Does your owner corp ever engage contractors to carry out building repairs of any type? This is quite a grey area and is also affecting NSW strata schemes. Buildings built up to 2003 are supposed to have an asbestos register now. There are supposedly exemptions for residential schemes under some circumstances. Why is your professional strata manager recommending that you have one? Because no-one will guarantee you that at some time your scheme will not cross the line from being strictly residential simply by having people working on the property. The fines that can potentially be imposed are massive, and far outweigh the cost of a report I would imagine.

Why don't you simply ask your strata manager these questions? It sounds like they are doing their job by bringing the new legislation to the attention of the owners. Whether you proceed with such a report/register is up to the owners, but the strata manager will have at least made you aware of the potential issues.

Wake
 
Nothing grey about it. The OHS act has cha see nged. All bodies corporate, pms and commercial owners must have an asbestos survey done. on strata properties this is for the common areas only. see my blog.
 
..This is quite a grey area and is also affecting NSW strata schemes.

True. Which is why I'm wondering how others are dealing with this, given that the ACT, NSW, NT & QLD have already adopted the model work health and safety laws. There must be others who have decided on this before.

As an example: If you did have a register, you then need to keep it on-site. Are Owners Corp's really creating spaces (cupboard etc.) on common property to store these things?

..The fines that can potentially be imposed are massive, and far outweigh the cost of a report I would imagine.

Perhaps. And this is why I asked straight up If I was being silly in questioning this.

..Why don't you simply ask your strata manager these questions?

I have. And they don't appear to be sure. No one can definitively point to legislation that requires inspections, which is odd for such an important legal 'requirement'. I don't like making decisions without first knowing the facts.


Also on my mind is how do I make sure the register is maintained & kept accurate? How do I make sure that all contractors are shown the register?

Work Safe Victoria have told me that it's the responsibility of each contractor to maintain a safe work place, and to comply with OH&S legislation. Why would my Owners Corp want to assume that responsibility for them? Surely that's a slippery slope towards future trouble.
 
My info came via our OHS bod but the source is worksafeaustralia.gov.au

This is overriding legislation which affects all states and territories so no avoiding it. Upon reading it, a register must be kept onsite ie all common areas only & kept by the executive committee to show to any contractor who will be working on common areas eg roofer, plumber, gardener, electrician etc.
 
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Work Safe Victoria have told me that it's the responsibility of each contractor to maintain a safe work place, and to comply with OH&S legislation. Why would my Owners Corp want to assume that responsibility for them? Surely that's a slippery slope towards future trouble.
there have been workcover instances before where the property owner is considered to be providing a workplace for the contractor, who is also providing a workplace, in the same workplace, for himself and his employess.
the contractor has to ensure the contractor's compliance, and, the owner(owners corp etc) has to ensure the owner's compliance, about the same location.
 
there have been workcover instances before where the property owner is considered to be providing a workplace for the contractor, who is also providing a workplace, in the same workplace, for himself and his employess.
the contractor has to ensure the contractor's compliance, and, the owner(owners corp etc) has to ensure the owner's compliance, about the same location.

Yep, that's what I'm seeing on the gov't websites.. well sort-of. I do get where you're going: Sometimes, you could end up responsible when you thought you weren't.

I saw section 7(1) of the regulations exclude a Strata that is not an employer (here).
NSW Work Cover explain it well here.

So I think now that Aaron_C got it right all the way back in post #2:
...are you supposed to do some major works to the building soon? Only then would the asbestos inspection possibly be needed.

For every day tasks, in a small unit block, looks to me like nothing changes. But each to their own.

Thanks! :)
 
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