Australian compensation fund gets $30 million loanAn asbestos compensation fund in Australia was recently given a nearly $30 million loan.
The Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund (AICF) provides payouts for asbestos victims who have contracted diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer, according to the Australian Associated Press.
Building materials company James Hardie typically makes regular contributions to the fund but New South Wales Attorney-General Greg Smith says the firm's cash flow has been affected by global economic factors. That is why the NSW and federal governments stepped up and provided the short-term $29.7 million loan to the fund. This will ensure that asbestos victims continue to get the money they need for treatment and to take care of their families.
"This funding provides financial stability to the AICF and peace of mind to asbestos victims," Smith said in a statement.
Many blue collar workers contracted asbestos diseases over the past century as the naturally occurring substance was widely used in a variety of industries as an insulator and flame retardant. However, by the mid-1960s it was proven that exposure to asbestos could cause illnesses that the World Health Organization now estimates kill 107,000 people each year across the globe.