The ACT Government has confirmed it will develop a new buyback scheme for properties affected by historic loose-fill asbestos products.
The new scheme is largely a continuation of the current buyback scheme, which closes on August 17 this year. The new program will only apply to properties that are found to have loose-fill asbestos after that date.
“It is possible there could be additional affected properties in Canberra’s older suburbs that are yet to be identified as containing loose-fill asbestos insulation,” said Sustainable Building and Construction Minister, Rebecca Vassarotti explained when she introduced the legislation on Thursday.
“It is understood in addition to Mr Fluffy-installed loose-fill asbestos … bags of loose-fill asbestos were available for purchase and were used either as stand-alone insulation or mixed with other insulation products,” Ms Vassarotti said.
“Since the commencement of the scheme, five additional affected properties have been identified.”
She explained that it is reasonable to assume that more affected properties will be identified after the end of the current scheme.
“By not continuing a buyback program … it would be inconsistent with the ACT Government’s commitment to eradicate loose-fill asbestos from the ACT residential community.”
Most of the affected properties – 992 out of 1,027 – have been demolished.
“Of the 35 properties remaining on the affected residential premises register, 11 have been surrendered to the Territory with demolition planning underway,” she said.