Work progresses on demolition of Mr Fluffy pilot properties


Released 12 June 2015

Demolition activity on the first Mr Fluffy properties will commence in the next two weeks with the five pilot properties to be demolished located in Wanniassa, Evatt, Melba and Farrer.

The pilot program is not to test how to demolish properties, this is known and highly regulated by WorkSafe ACT, but to refine how the Asbestos Response Taskforce informs and engages with neighbours and the broader community around this activity.

The five pilot demolition sites are:

  • 81 Sternberg Crescent, Wanniassa
  • 60 Guthridge Crescent, Wanniassa
  • 18 Emerton Street, Evatt
  • 8 Flower Place, Melba
  • 16 Longerenong Street, Farrer

Over the past two weeks the Taskforce has door knocked more than 170 houses around the pilot demolition sites. This will occur another three times during the works and any concerns, questions or feedback will allow the Taskforce to refine its messaging as the broader demolition program commences later this year.

These properties can, and will, be demolished safely. The work will be informed and led by experts in asbestos assessment and removal as well as demolition contractors. WorkSafe has worked closely with the Taskforce around this work and there will be seven inspectors dedicated to reviewing activities.

The first two firms appointed to oversee the initial demolition work are Manteena and Shaw Building Group.

It is important to note that when the houses are actually demolished any loose fill as well as bonded asbestos has been removed under a negative air environment and the structure sprayed with an adhesive material to bind any remaining fibres.

Internal loose fill asbestos removal will commence at the Sternberg Street property in Wanniassa next week by licensed asbestos assessors and removalists and with management of WorkSafe ACT.

Neighbours may see plastic on the roof of this property. This is to support a negative air environment in the house for the removal process. Actual demolition of the structure will occur a week or so after this.

Air monitoring as well as dust suppression will be in place during demolition and soil on the block will be remediated. This does not mean that entire blocks will be cleared. This will depend on the advice of experts as well as discussions with owners if they are seeking to remain on the block.

The Taskforce has a large volume of information material, including videos of the ACT Chief Health Officer, ACT Work Safety Commissioner and Taskforce Head, on its website outlining the demolition process and safety measures in place. I encourage the community to visit at www.act.gov.au/asbestostaskforce.

As at today, the ACT Government owns 555 properties which have been surrendered through the voluntary Buyback Program. To date 992 of 1021 homeowners have ‘opted-in’ to the Buyback Program by seeking valuations of their property, 938 offers to purchase have been made and 842 of these have been accepted. Total value of offers made now exceed $600 million.

In addition 364 stamp duty concessions have been used to date by homeowners who have moved through the Program and purchased another property in the ACT, which is $8.6 million in support. In addition, more than 570 relocation assistance grants have been paid to support homeowners move to safer accommodation. Financial support and assistance to homeowners is now $7.1 million.

The voluntary Buyback Program closes on 30 June 2015 and the Taskforce encourages any homeowner considering whether to take part to contact the Taskforce to discuss their individual circumstances.