Australian ban on engineered stone to begin in 2024

Saving lives against silicosis

Australia will ban the use, supply and manufacture of engineered stone from 1st July 2024, in a move that has been described as lifesaving. State and federal workplace ministers met on Wednesday, where they agreed to ban the material, which is commonly used in kitchen and bathroom benchtops. When cut, the product releases fine silica dust that has been found to cause deadly diseases and cancers.

Queensland’s industrial relations minister, Grace Grace, said: “This is a dangerous product that’s known to cause the potentially fatal disease silicosis, and it has no place in our workplaces.”

New South Wales’ minister for work health and safety, Sophie Cotsis, congratulated “all workers, unions, medical experts and businesses that I stood side by side as we campaigned for this day”.

“My message to business and consumers is this: it’s time for you to stop buying this stuff. Don’t enter into any further contracts,” she said.

The federal government has also flagged a customs prohibition on engineered stone, effectively banning the importation of the product.

Ministers will consider at another meeting in March 2024 whether there will need to be a transition period for engineered stone ordered prior to Wednesday. But in the interim, they have urged businesses and consumers not to enter into any new contracts.