Unions NSW is calling on the Baird Government to respond urgently to the spate of potentially deadly illegal asbestos dumping by using part of the state's surplus to adequately resource an asbestos eradication fund.

Reports today indicate Sydney's fringes are serving as a dumping ground for asbestos waste as unscrupulous builders and renovators seek to avoid costly and labour-intensive legal disposal.

Unions NSW Mark Lennon said unless the safe and proper removal of asbestos was funded, illegal dumping would continue.

"The equation for the Baird Government is simple: adequately fund the safe and legal removal of asbestos from the environment or put lives at risk through continued illegal dumping," Mr Lennon said.

"Asbestos exposure already kills more than 1000 people a year across Australia, and this nation was at one stage the largest consumer of asbestos per capita. 

"Yes, there will be significant cost involved in safely removing deadly fibres from our state, but if the Baird Government wants to prevent deaths it simply needs to step up."

Mr Lennon pointed out that a blueprint for safe removal had already been provided to government through the 2012 National Asbestos Plan and resourcing remained the only hurdle. 

"The 2012 National Asbestos Plan lays out how to safely remove all asbestos from government and commercial buildings by 2030 and the Baird Government should follow its recommendations," Mr Lennon said. 

"We need an asbestos eradication fund that is levied on the construction materials so that asbestos removal can be adequately resourced.

"All asbestos eradication should be given full tax deductibility status to encourage asbestos removal from residential as well as commercial and investment premises that already have this status.

"Removal of asbestos is the only way to stop future generations succumbing to asbestos disease. 

"With a budget surplus of $2.1 billion the government has no excuse for inaction. It's time we prioritised its removal from our schools, hospitals, parks, workplaces, and homes."

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