'Mr Fluffy' is a legacy the Canberra community has grappled with for many years and as the Asbestos Response Taskforce we are working to deliver the ACT Government's enduring solution through removal to renewal. We have always recognised that this is not simply a program about bricks and mortar. It is a response which has touched the lives of homeowners, tenants, neighbours and the community and is a part of our city's history. The Government did not arrive at its response lightly, but after much consideration of consensus expert advice. The response is only possible with a great deal of support and assistance from the broader Canberra community.
After extensive discussions with experts, asbestos assessors and homeowners in 2014 the Government determined that demolition of each affected house was the only enduring solution to the health risks as well as the social, practical and financial consequences being faced by owners of affected properties. We have worked with owners through the voluntary Buyback Program and continue to do so.
The Taskforce will demolish up to 1000 affected houses across 57 established Canberra suburbs with the assistance of industry and the support of the community. We know that the loss of each affected house is an impact felt both by the homeowners and tenants that once resided within them as well as by the neighbours which surround them. The Taskforce is working closely with neighbours to keep the vacant affected properties safe and secure prior to demolition as well as scheduling their removal to be as efficient as possible. Most importantly, we are working towards preparing remediated sites for rebuilding as quickly as possible.
The 'Mr Fluffy' - from Removal to Renewal Booklet is designed to provide key information about the Buyback and Demolition Program and how we are working to give our community, neighbourhoods, and each affected homeowner the information and assistance they need as the 'Mr Fluffy' legacy is dealt with once and for all.
Andrew Kefford, Head of the ACT Asbestos Response Taskforce