Labor leader vows to seek justice for abandoned asbestos victims
The pressure is on for the Australian government to find justice for asbestos victims left out of existing compensation schemes.
Around 1000 homes in Canberra were installed with loose-fill asbestos in the 1970s, in one of the country’s largest toxic contaminations.
Earlier, mesothelioma patient James Wallner – who played in the ‘Mr Fluffy’ material as a child – told Joe Hildebrand he may have less than a year to live.
Despite being handed a death sentence, he found himself with no legal recourse to compensation because he was not exposed at work.
He accused the federal government of passing to the ACT government a “toxic legacy that was left behind for them to mop up” when the Territory gained self-governance.
“One of the most dangerous forms of asbestos, it laid in the roof there for my full childhood.
“It … was raining down on us for those years.
“I can accept the disease – what I can’t accept is the buck-passing that’s going on between federal and state governments.”
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Opposition leader Anthony Albanese told Joe he’ll “absolutely” make representations to Health Minister Greg Hunt on Mr Waller’s behalf.
“Many of the corporates were essentially trying to hold off compensation until people died.
“[The victims] deserve respect, they deserve compassion, and the federal government should step in here.”
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