Asbestos was commonly used in many building materials between the 1950s and the 1990s. Around 60% of homes in Baw Baw Shire contain asbestos - and they're not all as obvious as you may think. Asbestos was used in more than 3,000 products, including 2,000 building products.

All types of asbestos can be damaging to health. Generally, however, the presence of asbestos does not pose health risks unless it is broken, in poor or deteriorated condition, or disturbed during activities that produce dust containing asbestos fibres.

If you have any concerns regarding the removal of asbestos please contact the WorkSafe Victoria Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 or visit the Worksafe website.

Council would always recommend engaging a licensed professional to manage and remove any asbestos materials.

Asbestos Victoria has references to assist you in finding information relating to asbestos removal and certified removalists. A handy call list can be found on the Asbestos Victoria Website.

Latrobe Valley Asbestos Taskforce

Council is an active member of the Latrobe Valley Asbestos Taskforce (LVAT) which was formally commissioned in February 2019.  The establishment of the LVAT is an opportunity to ensure the health and wellbeing of Latrobe Valley communities is prioritised. It will give confidence to the community that government is not only listening to their concerns, but is committed to the development of a transparent process to develop meaningful long-term plans and activities to deal with contaminated materials. Latrobe Valley communities have expressed a clear expectation for transparency, responsiveness and effective feedback processes regarding asbestos complaints and handling.

What to do when you find asbestos

If the asbestos is on an industrial site

  • Industrial removal or storage of Asbestos is licensed by EPA. You can notify EPA of stockpiles you are concerned may contain asbestos or if the stockpile is not being appropriately managed

The neighbour is pulling down an old shed that looks like asbestos:

  • Contact Council's Public Health Team to assess by calling 5624 2411.

I've found dumped asbestos:

  • Contact Council's Public Health Team to assess by calling 5624 2411.

A contractor/business is removing asbestos in my street:

  • Contact Worksafe. You should also contact Worksafe when there is asbestos being removed as part of contracted demolition work and you have not been notified or have concerned about the practices of the site.

Asbestos Fact Sheets

Who does what in Asbestos

Who-Does-What-in-Asbestos_Page1.jpg Who-Does-What-in-Asbestos_Page_2.jpg

Examples scenarios


An individual came across a pile of rubbish at a local reserve, and believed some of the rubbish may have been broken asbestos cement sheet.

In this case, the individual ought to call the local council.

Council may inspect the rubbish to determine if it could be asbestos, and will then arrange to clean it up.


An individual came across a very large pile of rubbish dumped on the side of the road, which looked to include asbestos debris. The size of the pile indicated that it had been dumped by a truck.

In this case, the individual ought to call the EPA hotline on 1300 372 842.

EPA may contact the road owner and the road owner will arrange the clean-up. EPA may investigate the dumping site depending upon the scale.


A resident was concerned about the removal of a deteriorating shed on a neighbour’s property. The resident had not received any advice that asbestos removal was to take place, and was concerned that because the shed had been erected before 1990, it was likely to have asbestos present.

If the neighbour had engaged a contractor to do the building works, the resident ought to call the WorkSafe advisory line on 1800 136 089. All neighbours immediately adjacent to the property undergoing the building works ought to have been notified about asbestos removal.

If the neighbour was removing the shed by themselves, then the resident ought to call their local council and provide full details including the size of the shed and the concern about asbestos being present.

If WorkSafe is contacted, an inspector may visit the property to see if the contractor is complying with the Occupational Health and Safety regulations, including being licensed to remove asbestos where required. Where contravention(s) are identified an improvement notice or a prohibition notice may be issued; this may require works to cease until compliance can be achieved.

If Council is contacted, an investigation will be conducted where the neighbour may be asked to cease works or be provided advice on how to minimise the risks of asbestos exposure and ensure the asbestos waste is packaged correctly and taken to a licensed waste facility.


A resident was concerned about a deteriorating shared fence, and had tried to engage the owner of the neighbouring property many times about repairing it. Communicating with the owner was difficult as the property was rented out. The resident was very concerned that because it was an asbestos-cement fence, it posed an exposure risk. Due to the gaps in the fence, it also meant that the resident’s dog could not be left outside in the yard as it wasn’t secure.

In this case, the resident ought to call their local council and provide full details of the issue, highlighting the concern about broken asbestos sheeting.

Council may issue an improvement notice, which provides a deadline for repairs to be made and the structure to be made safe. Failure to comply with the improvement notices may result in further enforcement actions.