The passing of the Loose Fill Asbestos Appropriation Bill today in the ACT Legislative Assembly will allow the first houses to be purchased by the ACT Government by Christmas, ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher announced today.
The Bill will allow the ACT Government to purchase houses through the ACT Government’s Buyback and Demolition Program. The Chief Minister expected the first houses to be purchased in the next two weeks.
“Today marks an important day not only for the 1021 homeowners directly affected by this issue but for the broader community as this will allow the ACT Government to provide an enduring solution to the legacy of Mr Fluffy which has affected this city for the past 50 years ,” the Chief Minister said.
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The Bill allows the ACT Government to spend an initial $750 million to deliver the eradication scheme and buy back the properties through the program. This is part of the $1 billion concessional loan from the Commonwealth Government.
“To date more than 650 homeowners have opted into the buyback program and valuations are underway with close to 400 expected to be completed by Christmas,” the Chief Minister said.
“This now brings certainty to homeowners that they will be able to sell their home for a market value that ignores the presence of asbestos and move on with their lives.”
A total of 28 homeowners to date have received their two valuation reports and now the Bill has passed will receive a letter of offer on their house from the ACT Government reflecting the average of the two valuation amounts.
“The Taskforce continues to provide support to homeowners at what is a challenging time.
“The Buyback and Demolition Program reflects discussions with individual homeowners and the wider community, advice from experts around the long term safety and management of affected properties and comprehensive consideration of the impact on the Canberra community and the ACT Budget.
“Numerous options were analysed before settling on this program, which is the fairest, most responsible and affordable response available to the ACT.
“Today is a significant day. The passage of the Appropriation Bill represents a key a milestone in the important work which will continue for the next five years,” the Chief Minister said.
“I thank my Assembly colleagues for their preparedness to deal with the Bill quickly and for the unanimous support for the Buyback and Demolition program to proceed,” the Chief Minister concluded.
(Katy Gallagher Media Release)