17 December 2014
The cross-party “Mr Fluffy” asbestos inquiry has today produced a unanimous road map for comprehensive reform to address the health crisis of loose fill asbestos in NSW homes. This loose fill asbestos was sold to ACT and NSW home owners between 1968 and 1979 under the trading name “Mr Fluffy”.
The ongoing financial and emotional burden suffered by Mr Fluffy householders can be devastating. The report recommends the adoption of the ACT buy-back model for dealing with loose fill asbestos, as a matter of urgency, to provide essential financial support of those who have innocently bought affected properties.
Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“This inquiry has recognised that the ongoing presence of loose fill asbestos is a public health issue, which the NSW government has an obligation to fix.
“Those who own properties where Mr Fluffy loose fill asbestos is present are innocent victims of a deadly product and they are in urgent need of financial support and assistance.
“The precise number of NSW households with loose fill asbestos is not fully known, a state government forensic investigation estimates the number to range anywhere from 372 up to 5,376 households.
“The public health risk of asbestos means that a publicly funded buy back scheme is an urgent priority, modelled on the existing arrangements in the ACT.
“NSW also needs mandatory disclosure of loose fill asbestos at the point of sale to prevent more innocent purchasers being exposed to this deadly product. For such a scheme to work it must be accompanied by publicly funded buy backs.
“The inquiry also called for an investigation of a broader ‘asbestos register’ that includes details of the presence of all the asbestos products in housing stock, with reports being compiled at the time properties are sold.” Mr Shoebridge said.