11 January 2022

Another Mr Fluffy house discovered

| Ian Bushnell
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Mr Fluffy house in Lyons

The house in Lyons where loose-fill asbestos has been found. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

Another Mr Fluffy house has been found, this time in Lyons, making it the seventh to be identified since the Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication Scheme was announced in 2014.

The home was being prepared for sale when an inspection found loose-fill asbestos in the roof cavity.

The real estate agent and a licensed assessor contacted the Asbestos Taskforce on 17 December 2021 after a sample tested positive.

A full assessment of the property organised by the Taskforce the next day confirmed that loose-fill asbestos insulation had been installed in the northern extension area of the roof cavity, with other insulation material covering it.

Records show the property was inspected during the original Commonwealth Government removal program, but a visual inspection of the roof cavity may not have identified any loose-fill asbestos insulation due to it being in a limited section of the roof.

The December assessment report said there was no immediate risk to anyone living in or visiting the home provided its recommendations and the property’s loose-fill asbestos management plan were followed.

But the Taskforce said that the only solution to eradicating the ongoing exposure risks of loose-fill asbestos was the demolition of the property.

The owners have been invited to join the Scheme’s ongoing buyback program for newly discovered properties and the Personal Support Team is working closely with them on next steps.

Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction Rebecca Vassarotti said it was likely more Mr Fluffy homes would be discovered.

READ MORE Renewed call for mandatory asbestos check after another Mr Fluffy shock

“When a new property is discovered, it’s distressing, disruptive and difficult for those directly involved, which is why the ACT Government will continue to support those affected to ensure their needs are met,” Ms Vassarotti said.

Last month she rejected calls from Canberra builder Dean Papas for mandatory asbestos inspections for properties built before 1980 when they were being sold after his Reid dream home was found to be contaminated.

“In all seven properties, loose-fill asbestos insulation was installed in only part of the roof cavity, with other insulation products installed over the top or alongside the asbestos insulation,” she said this week.

“A review of the circumstances of these properties shows that current provisions, including mandatory asbestos awareness training for tradespeople, has been effective in identifying the small number of homes that have been detected since the scheme commenced.”

Ms Vassarotti said anyone concerned their house may contain loose-fill asbestos should engage a licensed asbestos assessor, and the government would reimburse assessment costs if the property is found to be contaminated.

Mr Papas believes that the asbestos fibres found in the ceiling of his home are remnants from an incomplete clean-up, and it is believed about 1000 homes were not appropriately remediated in the original removal program from 1989 to 1993.

Mr Papas paid $1.8 million for the Reid home before renovating it. He has joined the buyback scheme.

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More ACT Government stuff ups. I think Mr Papas will be entitled to a very very large payout.

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