Australia was one of the countries in the world with the highest rates of asbestos use per capita until the mid-1980s. The mineral was mined for years until about 1984. The country imported approximately 1.5 million tonnes of asbestos from 1930 to 1983.

Asbestos has been banned in Australia since 31 December 2003. Both importation and use of the material are illegal. However, there are a few exceptions, including the use of asbestos as permitted by the WorkSafe Commissioner and handling for disposal of this mineral.