Legislative Council: Wednesday, May 18, 2022


Dust Diseases

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (15:15): My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations. Can he outline what he is going to be doing to address dust diseases, in particular with regard to silicosis and those stone benches that cause both disease and death in our state?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Attorney-General, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:15): I thank the honourable member for her question. It is indeed an important question. I will bring back a fuller answer, but I know that we have participated in South Australia in national guidelines in terms of dust disease, particularly as it relates to manufactured stone. Some of the conditions, in years gone by but even in recent years, that manufactured stone has been working under have led to a new round of dust diseases.

Of course, dust diseases cause lung damage that is permanent and irreversible and without a cure. So as we have had in years gone by asbestos-related lung diseases, we are seeing it with manufactured stone now. I will get a more complete answer, but I certainly have read since becoming minister the work that's been done nationally on national standards. It is certainly an important issue, and I will provide a fuller answer having a look at exactly where that is up to.