Historical Timeline

2016 - July - Third Indicative Demolition Schedule released on 29 July, targeting 350 demolitions in 2016.

2016 - May - First Right of Refusal offer process gets underway with offer packs sent to 15 First Right Holders.

2016 - April - First public auctions held. Five blocks in Pearce, Duffy, Waramanga and Chapman auctioned by Ray White on 12 April, with five blocks in Scullin, Fraser, Downer, Campbell and Macgregor auctioned by Independent Property Group on 14 April.

2016 - February - Territory Plan Variation 343 commenced on 17 February 2016

2015 - August - Indicative demolition schedule released and community forums held

2015 - June - first houses demolished under the Buyback and Demolition Program

2015 - June - Public release of the list of affected houses

2015 - June - Applications for Voluntary Buyback Program closed

2015 - May - Community Forums on pilot demolition program

2015 - April - Asbestos Management Plans introduced for residential properties affected by loose fill asbestos insulation

2015 - January - Mandatory tagging of Mr Fluffy homes

2014 - December - Legislation passes to enable the implementation of the Buyback and Demolition Scheme

2014 - October - Buyback and Demolition Scheme announced The government announces the Loose Fill Eradication Scheme supported by a loan form the Commonwealth of $1 billion which will buyback affected properties at a market rate as at 28 October 2014 and demolish each affected house surrendered to the ACT Government to remove loose fill asbestos from the Canberrra community once and for all.

2014 - July - Mandatory asbestos awareness training - The ACT was the first jurisdiction to mandate asbestos awareness training for all workers who might come into contact with asbestos (including the construction industry).

2014 - June - Asbestos Response Taskforce established - The government establishes the Taskforce and begins implementing asbestos assessments and delivery emergency assistance to people affected.

2014 - March - Improved disclosure of 'Mr Fluffy' homes - Contract of sale and building and development applications now required by Environment and Planning Directorate to indicate when a home is affected by loose-fill asbestos insulation.

2014 - February - Letter to Prime Minister from Chief Minister raising concerns about contaminated lands and loose fill asbestos insulation.

2014 - February - Letter from Work Safety Commissioner to Households

2013 - Asbestos awareness advertising campaign - The ACT government ran asbestos awareness advertising over the Christmas period to coincide with the increase in DIY renovations.

2013 - Downer house report received

2012 - 2012-13 Budget - $142,000 allocated in 2012-13 for a dedicated resource to assist with the effective management of asbestos incidents in Canberra. These funds were to help improve coordination of asbestos removal incidents, and address future government risk and potential liabilities in relation to asbestos.

2012 - Letter to Prime Minister from Chief Minister In November the Chief Minister sought assistance to continue remediation of homes affected by loose fill asbestos insulation.

2012 - Letter to Prime Minister from Chief MinisterIn June the Chief Minister sought assistance to continue remediation of homes affected by loose fill asbestos insulation.

2012 - ACT Government submission to the national review on asbestos management The ACT Government made a comprehensive submission to the national review, outlining best practice asbestos management regime.

2012 - ACT election campaign commitments"If re-elected in 2012, ACT Labor will … continue to ensure our workplace safety laws are the best in the country … continue to campaign on asbestos."

2011 - Downer house discovered - The house was subsequently purchased in 2012, demolished in 2013 and the final report received by the Office of Industrial Relations in late 2013.

2011 - Letter to the Prime Minister from Chief Minister - Regarding the management of asbestos including loose-fill asbestos in the Territory.

2011 - Asbestos information website - The government revised and relaunched a new dedicated asbestos website at www.asbestos.act.gov.au.

2011 - Enactment of the Work Heath and Safety Act 2011Enactment by the ACT of the nationally harmonised legislation (which varied only slightly from the 2008 Act given the approach the Territory had taken).

2011 - Ministerial statement (Minister for IR)Government response to the Asbestos Management Review (2010) report: "The government has agreed to implement all of the recommendations in the review, including the appointment of a response coordinator as suggested in the coordinated action response model."

2011 - Government response to 2010 review The Government accepted the recommendations of the review noting:

  • Asbestos has proven to be pervasive in nature and that it is essential that the Government ensures that the approach to asbestos remains contemporary and that the Government responds to changing circumstances.
  • Establishment of asbestos regulators forum. This group of senior officials from all ACT government directorates will formulate and oversight a strategic plan for asbestos management over the next five years.

2010 - Review of 2005 ACT Asbestos Management Strategy The ACT Asbestos Management Review (2010) found that the majority of the recommendations in the strategy had been completed. The review made five specific recommendations.

2008 - National harmonisation of work health and safety laws ACT Government participated fully in national discussions relating to the proposed harmonisation of WHS laws.

2008 - ILO ratification - The ACT government agreed to ratification of International Labour Organisation Convention 162 which accepts that there is no safe level of exposure, and to support the World Health Organisation in the elimination of the use of asbestos.

2008 - Asbestos advice The ACT government developed generic advice about the likely location of asbestos in residential properties built before 1985.

2008 - Government buildingsACT Government Property Forum endorsed the "2008 Asbestos Management in Non-Residential Government Properties Guidelines". The ACT government has developed data management methods for the storage and management of asbestos registers.

2008 - Enacted the Work Safety Act 2008The Territory introduced and enacted the Work Safety Act 2008 - the only jurisdiction to implement the draft core principles. The legislation also applied to the safe handling of asbestos in a workplace setting.

2007/08 - Contributed to national development of core principles for WHS lawsThe Territory made a significant contribution to the development of draft model ‘core principles’ for inclusion in all WHS laws.

2006 - Improved disclosure of ‘Mr Fluffy’ homesImproved disclosure of 'Mr Fluffy' homes on the building file for a property and lease conveyance inquiry (a required document for a contract of sale) - this included awareness raising measures for the real estate and conveyance lawyers.

2006 - Enactment of Dangerous Substances Amendment Act 2006A range of amendments were made to various laws to introduce a best practice asbestos management regime. Asbestos is regulated under a number of laws including:

  • Building Act 2004
  • Building (General) Regulation 2008
  • Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) Act 2003
  • Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004
  • Construction Occupations (Licensing) Regulation 2004
  • Dangerous Substances Act 2004
  • Dangerous Substances (General) Regulation 2004
  • Environment Protection Act 1997
  • Residential Tenancies Act 1997
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011

2006 - ACT BudgetThe government has provided $750,000 in the 06-07 Budget toward improving the management of asbestos, and supporting compliance with new asbestos regulations for non‑residential buildings - including government-owned buildings.

  • $400,000 to the Department of Territory and Municipal Services for removal of asbestos and other hazardous materials in government properties used for community purposes.
  • $150,000 to the Department of Education and Training for the development of asbestos management plans at all schools.
  • $200,000 to the Chief Minister’s Department to support the implementation of the new non-residential regulations.

2005/06 - Training and educationThe Taskforce developed training programs and printed information resources for tradespeople that have been modified in partnership with industry associations (MBA and HIA) and unions to include asbestos awareness.

2005 - Education CampaignThe Government launched the dedicated asbestos website at www.asbestos.act.gov.au.

2005 - Taskforce reportIn August the Taskforce issued a report on asbestos management in the ACT in relation to residential properties, commercial properties and the building trades and asbestos industry. The Task Force recommended that an ACT Asbestos Management Strategy be developed based on the report recommendations, accompanied by a five year program of implementation, together with an asbestos management team to provide effective coordination during implementation of the strategy.

The ACT Government Response to the Task Force Report formed the basis for the strategy. It was agreed the Strategy would be reviewed after five years.

2005 - Taskforce Review The Taskforce undertook extensive analysis to determine the extent and impact of asbestos in the ACT. This analysis was based on empirical data and included a representative sample of buildings. A survey was conducted to complete the analysis to obtain information which, in conjunction with existing data sources and supplementary research findings, would inform an analysis of the extent and impact of asbestos.

2004 - Education CampaignAs a result of the Taskforce, an extensive and ongoing communication and information campaign was undertaken. This campaign included various advertisements and fact sheets targeted at home renovators, tradespeople and the general community to increase awareness of asbestos, the associated risks and where to go to obtain further information.

2004 - ACT Asbestos Taskforce in November 2004 (Taskforce and Implementation Group continued to 2006/07)The Taskforce identified the broad intentions of new asbestos management arrangements in the ACT as providing:

  • general community awareness of asbestos hazards and safe management;
  • an enduring system for managing asbestos in the community;
  • continuity of knowledge and advice about the location and condition of asbestos (i.e. fair disclosure as to the presence of asbestos); and
  • education and warning for people at risk, whether undertaking an activity disturbing materials containing asbestos, or subject to environmental exposure.

2004 - Enactment of Dangerous Substances Act 2004Introduced and enacted the Dangerous Substances Act 2004 - model legislation governing explosives and chemicals, including asbestos. ACT is one of the few jurisdictions to regulate dangerous substances (including asbestos) in non-workplace settings.

2003 - National ban of asbestosEnacted the national ban on asbestos in December.

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