Affected Properties’ Lifecycle

The Taskforce, with the assistance of a range of ACT Government Directorates and Agencies, will manage affected properties from the point of surrender through to resale, which may be a period extending three or more years.

Property Surrender

Through the Buyback Program, homeowners go through a process much like a normal house sale, but with two independent valuations to determine price, an official offer is then made, followed by a settlement period.

As the settlement period draws to a close, the Taskforce undertakes pre-settlement inspections to ensure the property can be safely secured and to note any safety hazards, assets or considerations unique to the property to inform security arrangements.

When an affected property is surrendered, the letterbox may be secured or removed and in some cases perimeter fencing may be erected as well as security alarms installed. Locks are also changed and windows and gates secured. Any property remaining in houses on surrender is either removed or marked with a dye to render it worthless.

Vacant Properties

Ensuring surrendered properties remain secure and maintained is a key priority for the ACT Government.

The lawns of each house are maintained to respect the streetscape. Utilities like gas, water and electricity is switched off and some swimming pools drained and fenced.

ACT Government employees and security contractors will regularly monitor the vacant properties awaiting demolition with assistance from neighbours and the community.

Vandalism, dumping of waste, looting and trespass of the property or the yard is strictly prohibited and could incur fines or prosecution.

Demolition Scheduling

Properties will be scheduled for demolition in groups which will allow contractors to efficiently schedule the necessary work to reduce disruption to the community.

Key overarching scheduling criteria include safety, efficiency in reducing disruption and cost and providing an enduring solution to this issue.

  • Safely: this includes the safety of the workers involved in the asbestos removal, demolition, site clearance, testing and dumping of rubble, as well as the wider community.
  • Efficiently: demolitions will be scheduled in a coordinated and efficient way to reduce costs and community disruption (including through geographical grouping of properties). The impact of efficient scheduling on overall costs is a key consideration.
  • Effectively: properties will be demolished in way which eradicates the issue of loose fill asbestos contamination from our community.

Other factors considered in ordering will include whether a block is subject to a first right of refusal request, if houses are clustered in terms of location and surrender timing, safety such as being located in bushfire areas (due to the risk to the community and cost of having unoccupied properties on the urban fringe), whether properties are single dwellings or part of unit tilted or dual occupancy developments and others.

Former owners will receive an indicative time window (within six months of a year) in which their house will likely be demolished. This will be contingent on industry capacity and contractor outcomes.

Demolition Activity

Just like a typical house demolition, the approach to each affected site is carefully planned and safety is the main priority for the workers on site, neighbours and the community.

Each site is overseen by a principal contractor with experienced licensed contractors undertaking the removal and demolition works. WorkSafe ACT will conduct compliance visits as required.

Key Contacts

Call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Neighbours who have concerns about the maintenance of a vacant property can tell us about a house online.

If people are concerned about property entry or trespass you should call the police on the non-urgent crime number 13 14 44 and for dumping, vandalism or other concerns contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

If the matter is an emergency then people should call Triple 000.

The ACT Government is committed to improving the accessibility of web content. To provide feedback or request an accessible version of a document please contact us or phone 13 22 81.