Skip to main content

To: Australian Government and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg

No Australian Money in Asbestos!

Tell the Australian Government that no Australian or international development funds should finance asbestos overseas!

Australians understand the toxic legacy of asbestos and we can take a leading role in standing up for sustainable and healthy development. We can make sure that no Australian development funds or any humanitarian aid leaves behind a deadly health disaster.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is a Governor of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and he can raise this issue at the highest level. Australia provides over $12 billion to the Asian Development Bank and the Treasurer can use his voting power and influence to make sure that no development funds, and no Australian money, funds asbestos products.

Tell the Treasurer to make sure that no Australian money finances asbestos in Asia by closing the loophole that allows for asbestos products to contaminate humanitarian aid and development.

Why is this important?

Australia knows the toxic legacy of asbestos all too well. Sixteen years after the ban came into force in Australia, 4,000 people die of asbestos-related diseases every year. Around the world an estimated 250,000 people die from asbestos-related diseases each year. Still today, 125 million people are exposed to asbestos in their workplace each year.

What is the loophole?

The Asian Development Bank’s ‘Safeguard Policy’ prohibits investments that include raw asbestos. However, this does not apply to the purchase and use of asbestos cement sheeting where the asbestos content is less than 20%, which includes almost all asbestos sheeting.
This means that victims of natural disasters can be sheltered under roof sheeting contaminated by asbestos. It means that communities trying to grow their wealth and improve their welfare can be given an asbestos time-bomb in the form of asbestos sheeting.

The Asia Development Bank’s current policy enables the asbestos industry in Asia to survive, despite the disastrous health impacts of asbestos. Alternatives are widely available for all asbestos-containing products, and the ADB policy must be updated to reflect this.

The ADB must close the loophole!

Let’s take a stand to stop asbestos everywhere!

Find out more at




2020-02-20 06:01:42 +1100

1,000 signatures reached

2019-12-19 16:09:50 +1100

We’ve had two pieces of positive news in the last few weeks.

Firstly, the Australian Senate voted unanimously to call on the Government to ‘lobby for a change in policy to end the use of asbestos in Asian Development Bank financed projects’. The Government responded to the motion by saying that they’ll be lobbying for a prohibition on asbestos products in ADB projects next year.

This is big news!

But we still haven’t gotten a response from Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Secondly, we’ve heard from the ADB that they’ll ‘refrain’ from using asbestos in projects from next year. We challenged the ADB on their funding of asbestos on ABC Radio and a bank spokesperson responded with this big news.

These are two great bits of news for the campaign, but we won’t stop pushing until we get firm commitments from Josh Frydenberg and the ADB on when and how they’ll stop funding asbestos.

2019-11-06 23:05:05 +1100

500 signatures reached

2019-11-01 09:18:03 +1100

100 signatures reached

2019-10-31 18:16:34 +1100

50 signatures reached

2019-10-31 17:28:36 +1100

25 signatures reached

2019-10-31 17:15:26 +1100

10 signatures reached