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  QUESTION: Demand for US certified lead abatement contractors in Sydney, 22 Mar 2005, Michigan United States of America

Good afternoon,

I am writing to you regarding employment in the lead abatement field in Australia, particularly Sydney.

I am a certified lead abatement contractor in the state of Michigan of the US and am considering moving abroad in the near future. Considering this, I would like to know if there is a demand for a person of my background and history in this specific field.

I can supply references, experience and certification information upon request.

Any information and or contacts that you can provide me with would certainly be appreciated.

Todd A. Lewless

ANSWER: 22 Mar 2005

Dear Todd,

I wish I could say that all the government departments and every sensible building owner stipulates that a certified lead abatement contractor do the work when it comes to repainting pre-1970 buildings in Australia. The reality is far from this ideal. This week I was advised of the very first painting contractor working for the New South Wales Department of Housing who actually has lead paint management training. Our government agencies and landlords don't seem to mind taking big risks when it comes to managing buildings I guess because the likelihood of anyone finding out that their house or yard is lead-contaminated is very very small. We have no legislation equivalent to Title X and thus no potential owner or tenant is EVER advised that the home they are about to move into may contain lead hazards.

Having said this, a handful of people find out about lead hazards and, realizing it is better for a trained professional to do the work, then go looking for contractors who can safely deal with the problem. For example, in the last two weeks more than 3,500 people from around the world have looked at our website and many of the Sydney-siders in that crowd would have found our online referrals database of "Paint Contractors With Some AS: 4361 Training (Sydney Area)" and Painters With Lead Paint Management Training - NSW  and thus been able to contact a contractor with lead training (we have no certification of residential painters as such) in accordance with the Australian Standard 4361.2 - 1998 Guide To Lead Paint Management - Part 2: Residential And Commercial Buildings". We could add you to our online referrals database if you decide to move to Sydney.

Additionally, by becoming a member of Master Painters Australia NSW Association Inc., you could advise them of your certification and request that you be listed on their lead-trained painters list. Then whenever someone from your local area (the Sydney area where your company is registered) phones the MPA [Freecall: 1800 451 224 or +61 2 9758 8877, Email Address] they would give out your name and phone number to the caller. Similarly, if your expertise is more to do with lead-contaminated cavity dust removal by truck-mounted HEPA vac, then you could join the Australian Dust Removalists Association (ADRA) who would also give out your contact details to any Sydney caller who rings ADRA on +61 2 9716 0966, and your details could go on the ADRA website - You could also try writing to the NSW Department of Housing and recommend to them that they start specifying only the use of lead-trained (at least) or lead-certified (preferably) maintenance contractors in order to create some demand for your services. NSW Department of Housing, Home Purchase Assistance Authority Email Address

Good luck with your research and I hope you decide to move here because we sure as hell need all the lead-smart contractors we can get. Let us know what you decide.

Elizabeth O'Brien

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