In the 1960s and 1970s a company known as Mr Fluffy used raw amosite and crocidolite asbestos, known as loose-fill asbestos, as ceiling insulation in some ACT and NSW homes. In the 28 identified Local Government Areas (LGAs) where Mr Fluffy operated, the NSW Government is offering free sample testing for loose-fill asbestos to owners of pre-1980s residential properties.
The NSW Government has determined that demolition, comprehensive site remediation and disposal is the best way to ensure the health and safety of the NSW community. NSW Fair Trading recently established the Loose-fill Asbestos Implementation Taskforce. The Taskforce is responsible for overseeing and implementing the Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program and its associated Assistance Package. The Program is designed to provide safety, certainty and support for NSW residents.
The Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program is being delivered in four stages:
Free sample testing is the first step in the Program which was announced by the NSW Government on 29 June 2015, following the acceptance of the recommendations of a Taskforce Report into loose-fill asbestos.
You can register online for the free testing program or call Service NSW on 13 77 88.
To be eligible for the Program, homeowners must be registered for testing by 1 August 2016.
Owners of premises outside of the identified LGAs, while not eligible for free sample testing, can have their property privately tested by a Licensed Asbestos Assessor. If a positive test is confirmed by a Taskforce-supervised technical assessment, they will have the cost of the test refunded and be eligible for the Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program.
If it is confirmed that there is loose-fill asbestos in the property that you are renting, you should speak to your landlord or agent about what management steps are in place to ensure the property is habitable. For more information on renting a property with loose-fill asbestos, contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20.
The NSW Government’s Loose-fill Asbestos Implementation Taskforce (Taskforce) has contracted the Australian Property Institute (API) to coordinate the valuation process. The API will engage two independent national companies to undertake the valuation process for each affected property. Each property will be valued as if it was free of loose-fill asbestos as at 29 June 2015.
More information is available on the Valuation process webpage on the Fair Trading website.
Owners of any NSW residential premises confirmed to contain loose-fill asbestos insulation are eligible to participate in the Program. The Program includes both free-standing homes and units and the Taskforce will work with each homeowner individually.
Program participants have two options:
The NSW Government will purchase the premises and land at market value, as if the property was free of loose-fill asbestos insulation.
The NSW Government will demolish the premises and remediate the land. The property will be sold in the property market.
Option 1 is the only one suitable for owners of multiple dwelling units or strata properties.
The NSW Government will purchase the premises only and the property owner will retain ownership of the land. The premises will be valued as if it were free of loose-fill asbestos.
The NSW Government will then be responsible for demolishing the premises and remediating the block of land. Following demolition and remediation, the owner will be able to rebuild on the same block of land.
For rural properties this would be the only available option. Rural properties include land zoned R5 or RU1-4 (more than 2 hectares).
The removal of loose-fill asbestos insulation from the affected property will be done by a Class A Licensed Asbestos Removalist (LAA).
More information is available on the Demolition and remediation process webpage on the Fair Trading website.
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