BETTY made her AgQuip debut at the field days event this year before heading off on a whirlwind trip of the State’s central and western regions.
An initiative of the Asbestos Education Committee in partnership with the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI), Betty – the ADRI House is the brainchild of mother and daughter team Clare and Alice Collins from Insight Communications, based in Redfern.
A purpose-built mobile model home designed to demonstrate where asbestos could be found in the home, Betty will be travelling with curators and chauffeurs Geoff and Karen Wicks.
Betty’s first trip of central and western NSW was launched at AgQuip by WorkCover NSW’s general manager of workplace health and safety John Waters who also presented NSW Farmers’ president Fiona Simson with a certificate of appreciation
for allowing Betty to attend the field days on the NSW Farmers’ site.
From Gunnedah, Betty will travel to the Central West centres of Dubbo, Condobolin, Forbes, Parkes, Orange, Bathurst, Lithgow and Mudgee across a 16 day period.
“We launched Betty at the end of November last year and she did some media calls in the Sydney metropolitan area, up to Newcastle and down to Wollongong,” Mrs Collins said.
“We’ve just finished our first tour of the New England region as well and we’re looking forward to a busy few weeks travelling around the central and western areas before heading down to the Riverina, as well as going to some parts of the south coast, Southern Highlands and into the ACT.”
Ms Simson said Betty was a useful resource, especially for property owners who might have many potential asbestos sites on their properties.
“There would be so many farm cottages out there that could contain asbestos and people often renovate these as extra accommodation or to put up employees,” Ms Simson said.
“Asbestos could also be found in the numerous types of sheds on a property or even in a dog kennel.
“Despite this, not a lot of people would be aware of the dangers of asbestos or would know what to look for to make sure their families and themselves aren’t exposed.
“Farmers tend to be the do-it-yourself types especially when it comes to the demolition stage of renovations and it’s at that stage they might be most vulnerable.”
Particularly at risk for asbestos were buildings built or renovated before 1987, Mrs Collins said – and even if the building was older, many homes were renovated during the 1970s when asbestos was in high rotation as a building material.
This November will see the launch of the very first Asbestos Awareness Month – and Betty would be out on the road to spread the word on asbestos awareness.
Visit www.asbestosawareness.com.au for more information.