Taskforce marks two years of operation and a total of 222 demolitions

Released 25/06/2016

Today marks two years since the formation of the Asbestos Response Taskforce. The Taskforce was created on 25 June 2014 by the ACT Government to provide a coordinated and compassionate response to managing the issue of Mr Fluffy in our community.

Since this time the Taskforce has undertaken a considerable amount of activity—from providing high level advice to Government on the long term management of this issue; providing support and assistance to those affected; broader community education; administration of the voluntary Buyback Program and most recently the safe rollout of the Demolition Program.

“The work of the Taskforce has been significant. To go from an emergency response to rebuilding about to commence on remediated blocks in two years shows the agility of the response to this issue,” Minister Gentleman said.

“It also demonstrates the dedication and commitment of the Taskforce officials who have worked hard to provide a timely and considered response to this significant and complex policy, social and community issue. It is a fitting coincidence that today also marks the Taskforce’s 222nd demolition with works being undertaken safely, efficiently and effectively across our city.”

The last two years has been a significant period of challenge for many affected homeowners as they made what had been a series of difficult, emotive and financial decisions around the future of their homes.

“For many owners the last two years have been challenging as they have moved from their homes and also considered the health, social and financial considerations of this legacy issue,” Minister Gentleman said.

“I am pleased that many owners are informing the Taskforce they have now settled in other properties or are seeking to return and rebuild on remediated blocks through the First Right of Refusal Process which has commenced.

“It will be through the physical rebuilding which is about to commence that will also support the emotional and social rebuilding for owners – and also for impacted residents – as suburbs become free of the legacy issue of Mr Fluffy asbestos.”Minister Gentleman concluded.

The Taskforce will continue its work in supporting homeowners as well as the broader community as it moves into the next phase of its work being the ongoing demolition of affected houses, the resale program and community rebuilding.

Two years in numbers:

  • 1022 affected properties = 4000 residents
  • 56 established suburbs affected = 12,000 neighbours, 127,000 residents
  • $1 billion response and $400 million expected net cost (after resale of remediated blocks)
  • 871 houses purchased so far totalling $620 million
  • $361,000-$2.9 million: range of offers to purchase made to date
  • 848 number of offers to purchase now accepted
  • 871 houses currently owned by the ACT Government
  • 924 relocation grants paid to support owners move to safer accommodation totalling $10.7 million
  • 586 stamp duty concessions exercised by former owners repurchasing other property in the ACT totalling $13.96 million
  • 222 houses safely demolished across 37 suburbs
  • 37,000 interactions with owners and community
  • 1000+ one-on-one meetings held
  • 630 neighbours door knocked around demolition program
  • 260,000+ views of Taskforce website
  • 50 staff in the Taskforce drawn from across the ACT Public Service
  • 2 years the Taskforce has been in operation.

- Statement ends -

Section: Mick Gentleman, MLA | Media Releases

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