NSW sets aside up to $250 million to buy back houses contaminated with Mr Fluffy loose-fill asbestos
While the ACT Mr Fluffy buy back demolition pilot program is underway, the NSW government has announced a similar approach for Mr Fluffy loose-fill residential contamination.
The ABC has reported here that $250m million has been allocated for the buy back.
An extract from the ABC online article is shown below.
The State Government will set aside as much as $250 million for a voluntary home buyback scheme that could ultimately see more than 500 houses demolished in places like Queanbeyan, Yass, Bungendore, Lithgow and even Manly.
Houses in several parts of NSW and Canberra were pumped full of potentially deadly loose-fill asbestos roof insulation in the 1960s and 1970s by a company that became known as Mr Fluffy.
But while more than 1,000 homes in the ACT were cleaned in the late 1980s and early 1990s and are now part of a $1 billion demolition program, residents across the border had received little to no help until recently.
Authorities still do not know how many Mr Fluffy homes are in NSW. Only 66 have been found in the state, most in Queanbeyan.
But according to a study commissioned by the Government, it is possible as many as 511 properties across 26 local council areas may have had the substance installed.
The voluntary buyback scheme, which will be officially launched in Queanbeyan today, offers greater flexibility than the Mr Fluffy buyback program currently operating in the ACT.
Crucially, home owners will be able to keep their blocks.
They will be given the option of selling their house and land at market value to the Government, or just selling the house — an option people living on farms are more likely to take up.
“This package will provide safety, certainty and support for our citizens and an enduring solution”, NSW Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet said in a statement.
As part of the scheme, a taskforce will be set up to carry out the program; a public register of Mr Fluffy homes will be drawn up; warning statements might be put on house contracts; free asbestos testing across large parts of the state will continue; and there will be mandatory labels on contaminated buildings to protect tradespeople.
Residents have until the start of August next year to register.
Those that do not participate in the program will have to shoulder the large cost of future demolition or repairs, and the value of contaminated properties is likely to be significantly reduced.
Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall said one of the big issues for NSW was complications over Mr Fluffy asbestos-insulated apartments.
“Of the 56 homes, there’s one block of 38 apartments,” he said.
“The State Government will purchase unit by unit, when that owner makes it available for purchase, until the NSW Government owns all of those properties.
“It will then demolish the whole block of units, remediate the land and put that back on the market.”