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Loose-fill asbestos in NSW homes – what you need to know!

Loose-fill asbestos

 

Staff from our office recently attended an information session about the NSW Government’s Loose-fill Asbestos Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program.  Wagga Wagga has been identified by the NSW Government as a local government area which may be affected by loose-fill asbestos. If a home was built before 1980 and it’s in an identified local government area, such as Wagga Wagga, the homeowner can register for a free sample test.

Loose-fill asbestos insulation is raw asbestos that has been crushed into a fine state and installed in ceiling spaces. During the 1960s and 1970s, pure loose-fill asbestos was sold as ceiling insulation for residential and commercial premises. A Canberra based company known as ‘Mr Fluffy’ installed insulation in around 1,000 homes in the ACT and is also understood to have installed insulation into homes in NSW.

Asbestos fibres that are breathed in pose health risks and the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease depends mainly on how many fibres have been breathed in and for how long.

The NSW Government has determined that demolition, comprehensive site remediation and disposal is the only way to remove the health risk of loose-fill asbestos insulation from an affected property.

Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program

The NSW Government is implementing a Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program as part of its efforts to solve the loose-fill asbestos insulation issue in NSW.

The Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program is comprised of a NSW Government purchase of premises and land, and a NSW Government purchase of premises only.

NSW Fair Trading has established an Implementation Taskforce responsible for overseeing and implementing the NSW Government Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program. The Loose-Fill Asbestos Implementation Taskforce will be in place until work is completed on the purchase and demolition of all properties that choose to participate in the Program.

If your home has loose-fill asbestos the Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program provides safety, certainty and support for NSW residents.  Financial assistance and support are available for homeowners and tenants of properties affected by loose-fill asbestos.

Owners of properties that test positive for loose-fill asbestos have the option to either sell their land and premises or premises only to the Government at market value, as if the property was not affected by loose-fill asbestos.

For more information, visit the Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program page.

Don’t ignore this opportunity, because if you find out later that your property contains loose-fill asbestos, you my be responsible for the costly remediation required.

Register here or call Service NSW on 13 77 88 by 1 August 2016.