Dominic Perrottet MP
Minister for Finance, Services and Property

NSW Government To Further Assist Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation Property Owners

The NSW Government has today announced a voluntary purchase and demolition program for all NSW residential property owners with positive results for loose-fill asbestos insulation.

The move is in response to the findings of the Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Taskforce, headed by former Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens, which has submitted its Final Report to the NSW Government.

Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Dominic Perrottet said the Government had considered the report and accepted all of the Taskforce’s 13 recommendations.

“Ensuring the health and safety of NSW residents is our top priority,” Mr Perrottet said. “This package will provide safety, certainty and support for our citizens and an enduring solution to the problem of loose-fill asbestos insulation.”

The voluntary purchase/demolition program will offer eligible homeowners a choice of actions - a NSW Government purchase of premises and land or a NSW Government purchase of the premises only.

The program follows on from the Make Safe Assistance package announced in December last year.

Mr Perrottet said the Government would now establish a new Loose-Fill Asbestos Implementation Taskforce (LFAI) to oversee and implement the program, supported by a number of legislative changes. These will include establishing a public register of affected properties, introducing mandatory hazard labeling and identifying affected properties on planning certificates.

“NSW Fair Trading will establish and oversee the (LFAI) Taskforce, which will be able to scale up or down dependent on the number properties identified in NSW,” said Mr Perrottet. “At this stage, 66 properties have been positively identified in NSW - 57 from historical records and 9 from sample testing.”

Member for Monaro John Barilaro also welcomed the announcement.

“This government has acted firmly and decisively to protect and support residents affected by loose-fill asbestos insulation, many of whom live in Queanbeyan,” he said.

“This will give them choice and allow them to properly plan for the future.”

Mr Perrottet said the NSW Government would be extending the free sample testing program across the 26 Local Government Areas until 1 August 2016. The free testing is only available initially to the listed 26 Local Government Areas but it would be expanded if there are positive results in LGAs outside the original list.

The LFAI Taskforce will be in place until all properties registered by 1 August 2016 have been demolished and the soil remediated under the scheme.

Please refer to accompanying Fact Sheet for further details.