Asbestos experts to visit Eden

'Betty' volunteers Karen and Geoff Wicks will be on hand in Eden and Bega to answer questions about where asbestos may be found in a house.
'Betty' volunteers Karen and Geoff Wicks will be on hand in Eden and Bega to answer questions about where asbestos may be found in a house.

An asbestos information house on wheels will visit Eden next month, as part of National Asbestos Awareness Month.

The service, known as 'Betty', is a purpose-built, mobile model house the size of a caravan, and is designed to demonstrate the multiple locations where asbestos might be found in any brick, weatherboard, fibro or clad Australian home built or renovated before 1987.

'Betty' will be in Eden on Friday, November 21 from 12pm-2pm in the carpark off Calle Calle and Chandos Streets.

Bega Valley Shire Council environmental health officer, Glen Harper, said the visit is timely following recent publicity about the ‘Mr Fluffy’ asbestos used in many areas of south-east NSW.

“'Betty', together with Australia’s most comprehensive online national asbestos information resource,, forms Australia’s first line of defence against the current wave of asbestos-related diseases in Australia,” he said.

“An initiative of the Asbestos Education Committee, in partnership with the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute, Betty is run by volunteers Geoff and Karen Wicks, who are able to advise people of the many locations where asbestos might be found in and around homes.

“There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres, and with at least one in three Australian homes containing asbestos there is a real health risk in renovating, maintaining and demolishing certain homes.

“Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos-related diseases in the world because we were among the highest consumers of asbestos products until a nationwide ban came into force in 2003.

“With asbestos products still commonly found in and around brick, weatherboard, clad and fibro homes built or renovated before 1987, it is vital that everyone knows where it might be found and how to manage it safely."

The Eden event will be also used to launch Council’s new asbestos policy.

In the lead-up, 'Betty' encourages homeowners, renovators, tradies and handymen to visit and take the 20-point abestos safety check to learn about protecting themselves and their families from exposure to dangerous asbestos fibres.

For those in Bega, 'Betty' will visit on Saturday, November 22, from 10am-4pm in Littleton Gardens. 

A static display will also be erected on Hylands Corner in Merimbula on Friday, November 14, with information for residents, and a Council environmental health officer will be there to answer any questions.

Council also intends to involve local schools in raising awareness about asbestos safety, either through a visit to 'Betty' or Council officers taking part in awareness discussions at interested schools.

Also on board in promoting Asbestos Awareness Month is the retailer Mitre 10, who will host tradies’ barbecues from 7am at the Eden, Bega and Pambula stores.

They will be joined by Council staff, who will be there to answer your asbestos related questions.

For more information, click here and here.


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