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Collection of data for residential asbestos heatmap
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Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart
The National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management 2019-2023 (NSP 2019-2023) commits Commonwealth, state and territory governments to work together to eliminate asbestos-related diseases in Australia by preventing exposure to asbestos fibres. The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency’s (the Customer) key function is to co-ordinate the implementation of NSP2019-2023. NSP 2019-2023 has a suite of national targets one of which is to develop an evidence-based national picture that assesses the likelihood of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) being present in the residential environment.
The Customer aims to deliver a national residential asbestos ‘heatmap’ by predictive modelling which will indicate the concentration of residential properties containing asbestos within geographic regions in Australia (for example, by local government area). The evidence-based national picture will be used to inform policy development and initiatives such as identifying optional locations for future disposal facilities, disaster recovery planning and targeted home renovator information campaigns.
In order to complete this predictive modelling, we need to source various datasets with differing characteristics, including reliable information on the presence or absence of asbestos in the residential environment. Various datasets have already been sourced with differing characteristics, however more target data is required to build an accurate residential asbestos heatmap.
Datasets containing both target and features attributes are rarer in the residential sector, compared with the commercial or government sectors, where there is a legal obligation to maintain this type of information in asbestos registers and management plans. To date data has been sourced data from: jurisdictional housing associations, ACM Check app data, asbestos mapping and redevelopment information collected by local councils, Education Department asbestos registers, ACT Mr Fluffy pre-demolitions inspections, Australian Bureau of Statistics Housing Survey data, CoreLogic and the GeoScience Australia’s National Exposure Information System (NEXIS). Using the year of construction of homes (between 1950 and 1990) as a predictor, a basic heatmap has been developed showing suburbs with the highest likelihood of ACMs being present using the NEXIS dataset. However, a number of issues were raised with this approach for example, it will capture a house that was built during that period but has since had all its asbestos removed but will not capture a house built before that time and later renovated using asbestos. For these reasons, feature-types maps are not considered sufficiently reliable to enable governments to make policy decisions regarding resource allocation. Sophisticated modelling is required to make these maps more meaningful and the outcome fit-for-purpose.
The aim of this approach to market is to collect a non-biased, de-identified target dataset which confirms the presence/absence of asbestos in the residential environment.
To develop the national picture there needs to be a mix of ‘targets’ and ‘features’:
- ‘Targets’ is information on the presence of absence (eg. expert opinion or asbestos testing)
- ‘Features’ are easily obtainable, widely available data that area statistically related to the target (eg. building age)
- Targets and features must be linkable at the building (eg. home address) or area level (eg. suburb or local government area).
- Pairs of linked targets and features, called the training dataset, must be a representative sample.
This data can be existing datasets held by asbestos laboratories, asbestos assessments, insurance actuaries and asbestos removal works conducted on residential properties. This data can also be new datasets such as expert opinion of whether asbestos is present or absent based on review of building inspection reports or review of building age/construction via satellite imagery. The Customer welcomes other novel ideas/methodologies for collecting reliable datasets. If you are proposing developing a new dataset, a detailed methodology for how you plan to collect and present the data should be provided in your response, including a description of the size of the proposed dataset. Required datasets can be national or highly focused in one jurisdiction but must be a representative sample. Consideration should also be given to what biases are present in the data and how to manage them. The inclusion of un-biased asbestos target information strengthens the evidence-base that any asbestos heatmap is built upon, compared with features-mapping alone. Respondents should also consider any privacy and/or ethical concerns for collecting and providing this information/dataset to the Customer.
Data collected through this contract will be used to develop and test a predicative model with machine learning capabilities to create a national residential asbestos heatmap. For predicative modelling to be feasible, machines must learn the relationship between target and features data attributes, using machine learning capabilities predicative modelling can then extrapolate a national picture.
The supplier will provide to the agency:
* Project Plan - outlining timeframe for data collection and methodology for sourcing data. Project plan should address:
- privacy and/or ethics concerns with proposed dataset.
- consideration of biases and collection of a representative sample.
* Draft report and dataset (non-biased, de-identified target dataset to provided in excel format). The report should summarise:
explanation for how data can be used to indicate the presence or absence of asbestos in the residential environment.
* The Dataset to include:
details of relevant building, suburb or local government amount
ability to present data on a visual platform (GIS map, National Map platform etc.).
* Final report and dataset and presentation of findings to Agency.
Applicants will need to demonstrate an understanding of Work Health and Safety legislation and regulations and the broad context of asbestos management in Australia.
Responses will be evaluated against the following selection criteria:
- Understanding of the issue
- Research methodology, including recruitment strategy and outline of proposed approach to preparing case studies (including template)
- Value for money
- Ability to complete the project within advised timeframe
- Evidence of suitability to undertake the research
- Application closure date 16 October 2020
- Project Plan by 2 November 2020
- Draft report and dataset submitted by 7 December 2020
- Final written report and dataset submitted by 8 January 2021
- Presentation of findings to Agency by 15 January 2021
Level 8, 12 Moore Street, Canberra ACT 2600