Some Canberra homes were historically fitted with loose fill asbestos insulation (also called Mr Fluffy). An affected property is a house that contains, or has contained, loose fill asbestos insulation. These properties are managed under the Dangerous Substances Act 2004 because of the health risks of loose fill asbestos insulation.
While the majority of affected properties have been demolished as part of the Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication Scheme or privately, some still remain in Canberra's suburbs.
Identifying affected properties
Affected properties can be identified by checking the:
- Register – this is the Affected Residential Premises Register, which identifies currently affected properties by unit, block, section and division. It also includes the street address, date the property was included on the Register and whether it has been acquired by the Territory. Properties are removed from the Register once they meet the deregistration requirements. The Register is maintained in accordance with the Dangerous Substances Act 2004.
- List – this identifies any properties that are or were affected by loose fill asbestos insulation. It includes the unit, block, section and division, as well as street addresses.
Tradespeople and care workers should check the Register to identify if they will be working in an affected property. From 1 July 2020, the Register will also note whether a property requires an asbestos management plan and whether there is a compliant plan in place. Tradespeople, care workers and visitors are encouraged to review a copy of the Asbestos Management Plan, which should be in a display case at the main entrance to the house, for details of contamination within the property.
Not on our list and concerned a property may have loose fill asbestos insulation? Find out more.
Homeowner and occupier responsibilities
Homeowners and occupiers of an affected property on the Register have responsibilities under the Dangerous Substances Act 2004.
While not the preferred option, the ACT Government will look to compulsorily acquire any remaining residential affected properties from July 2025. Any action will be taken with consideration for the individual circumstances surrounding each property.
Purchaser of Last Resort
The Purchaser of Last Resort (POLR) is a standing offer to purchase any affected house not surrendered under the Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication Scheme.
Private demolition and sale
Homeowners may decide to undertake a private demolition or private sale of their affected property.
You can rebuild on a remediated block that has been removed from the Affected Residential Premises Register, whether it was part of the Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication Scheme or demolished privately.
There can be a range of reactions to learning you may have lived in, worked on or in, or even visited an affected property.
ACT Health has advised that just because a person has been exposed to loose fill asbestos insulation does not mean they will necessarily develop an asbestos related medical condition. However, people who are concerned about their health should seek advice from their general practitioner who can provide an assessment of individual circumstance and exposure risks.
Find out more about:
- types of asbestos
- understanding the health risks
- Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication Scheme
- National Asbestos Exposure Register
Contact us for more information.