The NSW government will extend funding to asbestos victims in case of a shortfall in funds from James Hardie The NSW government will extend funding to asbestos victims in case of a shortfall in funds from James Hardie Photo: Bloomberg
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The New South Wales government will extend further credit to the Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund to prevent victims being paid in instalments in the event payments from James Hardie Industries are insufficient to cover claims.
On Friday the NSW government said it has agreed to amend the terms of its loan facility with the AICF. The changes extend the term of the loan and allow the fund to draw down the full $320 million of the facility rather than $214 million previously stipulated.
The AICF warned last year that a spike in mesothelioma claims, the most expensive asbestos victims claims category, could force it to enter an "approved payment scheme" as of July 1.
The scheme, which would have allowed compensation to be paid to some victims in instalments rather than upfront due to a lack of funds, sparked outrage among victims groups.
On Friday the AICF said the loan changes mean the APS is no longer needed, but conceded that "such a scheme may become necessary at some future date".
"With these changes to the loan facility, it will not be necessary for AICFL [Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund Limited] to proceed with its previously announced intention to implement an approved payment scheme," the fund said.
The Australian Financial Review first reported on the potential funding shortfall in September last year.
The AICF was formed in 2006 as part of the Amended Final Funding Agreement.
The AFFA was struck between James Hardie and the NSW government to compensate victims suffering asbestos-related diseases due to contact with former products made by James Hardie subsidiaries.
Under the terms of the agreement James Hardie, a supplier of fibre cement building products, pays 35 per cent of its annual operating cashflow to the AICF.

Eileen Day, Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia (adfa) commented about this article on the  Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia facebook page.  HOW TRUE IS THIS STATEMENT!
"Once again Hardies is being lent money to keep the Compensation Fund going. Yet they gave their shareholders dividends. When are they going to say sorry for the thousands of lives they have destroyed!"

My response to Eileen's posting - "Hardies will never be sorry! They are murderers of thousands of innocent asbestos victims and will continue to be for many years to come. Shame on you Hardies!"

Barry Robson, President Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia (adfa) recently made a statement in the recent February adfa monthly Newsletter prior to the above announcement by the NSW Government to prop up the fund for Hardies.

No news from the NSW Liberal Government after adfa met with Attorney General Brad Hazzard on 2 very important issues.

First the Strikwerda where widows are at a disadvantage over compensation payments and secondly the James Hardie saga where the company has said they will not top up the fund which utterly means that the fund will go into slow decline and victims may then be paid in INSTALMENTS. This can not be allowed to happen!

Hardies have just announced that they are on track to make a profit of $235 million dollars.  If James Hardie can find half a billion dollars to hand over to shareholders, and $11 million dollars a year just for their CEO, surely they have an obligation to ensure every victim of their deadly asbestos products is properly compensated.

We ask the question of why has the NSW Government not got stuck into the company over this shortfall and stand up to Hardies and DEMAND that they TOP UP THE FUND!

The Attorney General Brad Hazzard has reassured adfa that he will get onto this poste haste, but NOTHING seems to be happening.

ALL TALK!  Well I intend to remind the Attorney General Brad Hazzard that the election is less than 40 days away.

I am sure they do not want adfa members back out on the streets demonstration once again about the lack of ACTION FROM THE GOVERNMENT!

Barry Robson,
President, Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia (adfa)

Lou's comment to Barry Robson's statement - I gladly will be on the streets demonstrating with adfa if the need arises!  James Hardie cannot get away with this AGAIN!