19 April 2016

Buyback and demolition program announced for ACT 'Mr Fluffy' homes

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More than one thousand Canberra houses affected by ‘Mr Fluffy’ loose fill asbestos insulation will be bought and demolished by the ACT Government following an in principle agreement with the Commonwealth Government, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher announced today.

The Commonwealth will offer to provide the ACT with a $1 billion concessional loan towards the cost of the program. The Chief Minister also released the report by the Asbestos Response Taskforce on the Long Term Management of Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation in Canberra Homes, which recommends the demolition of these homes as the only enduring solution.

“It is a clear recommendation from the asbestos taskforce report that the only way to solve the Mr Fluffy saga once and for all is to demolish affected houses. For Mr Fluffy homeowners, we believe this program will offer a fair and flexible solution which will remove the risk of loose fill asbestos not only to homeowners and tenants, but to the broader community,” the Chief Minister said.

“This is a significant undertaking. We are talking about the purchase and demolition of 1021 residential properties across many of Canberra’s established suburbs.

“Financing this work will cost up to $1 billion, with an expected net cost in the hundreds of millions. Due to the magnitude of this program we have asked for the Commonwealth Government’s assistance to undertake this important work.

“These negotiations have taken some time, which I know has been incredibly hard on the homeowners, but I am pleased to advise the Commonwealth has accepted the Taskforce advice and agreed to provide a loan to underwrite the buyback scheme.

“Whilst the ACT Government did not get the assistance we had asked for, I thank Senator Eric Abetz and Commonwealth officials for their professional and compassionate approach to this issue.
“Today’s announcement will give these homeowners confidence that the buyback will go ahead and that is the most important part of today’s announcement.”

The Chief Minister said the buyback scheme had been developed by the Asbestos Response Taskforce to provide a fair outcome for owners of affected homes and, as far as possible, flexibility and information so homeowners could make informed choices.

“Any program also needs to minimise the overall cost to the Canberra community while supporting affected homeowners at the same time.”

The Chief Minister said participation in the scheme was voluntary. Through the program houses will be valued as if they were not affected by loose fill asbestos.

The Taskforce will work with homeowners wanting to remain in their houses on necessary medium term hazard reduction and risk management requirements, but long term habitation is not practicable or safe.

Once houses are demolished and blocks of land remediated, blocks will be made available to be for re- sale, with the original homeowner given the first option to buy back the block for their own occupation.

“We understand that many homeowners have indicated a preference to return to their block in the future. We have worked to balance this desire with mitigating the cost of this program to the rest of the community,” the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister said community support throughout this program will be important and detail will be provided throughout the program to ensure all residents are aware of activity and progress.
“The Taskforce will also be arranging a number of community forums and drop-in sessions to allow questions on the technical elements of the program to be discussed in greater detail,” the Chief Minister concluded.

Details of how the demolition and buyback scheme will work will be released next week with a view to finalising prior to the scheme becoming operational in January next year.
In the meantime emergency assistance continues to be available through the taskforce.

The taskforce report is available on its website: www.act.gov.au/asbestos-response-taskforce

(Katy Gallagher Media Release)

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MissChief said :

Will demolition of the houses be inside bubbles, like they did in the 80s when they took it out of ceilings?
I’ve noticed on TV lately, footage of houses being bulldozed in the open with a garden hose being sprayed around for effect. Surely if the houses are too dangerous for people to live in, bulldozing the houses without containment will pose a far greater risk.

And how will the rubble be transported safely to a landfill and how deep will it be covered?

Will demolition of the houses be inside bubbles, like they did in the 80s when they took it out of ceilings?
I’ve noticed on TV lately, footage of houses being bulldozed in the open with a garden hose being sprayed around for effect. Surely if the houses are too dangerous for people to live in, bulldozing the houses without containment will pose a far greater risk.

Postalgeek said :

dungfungus said :

Canberroid said :

dungfungus said :

“it’s a massive public health concern”
Where is the evidence of this? It’s getting a bit like the so-called anthropogenic climate change saga with massive media beat-ups and dire predictions?

Those dire predictions may well be correct, and you’ve demonstrated your thorough lack of understanding of the science behind climate change on multiple occasions. Comparing your views on the health concerns of loose-fill asbestos to that of climate change science doesn’t add much weight to your argument.

My understanding of your version of climate change is that it is a complete fraud. You can’t even supply me with a photo of sea levels that have actually risen.
It would be in bad taste to also ask for the names of two people who have died as a result of being residents in Mr Fluffy homes.

I’m with you, dung.

Forget variables, means, and tidal gauges.
What we need is pretty piccies and lo, here’s a one for you. It clearly shows the sea level is low in one shot and high in the other. We could even swap the photos so it shows the sea level is dropping, for a laugh.

http://blog.ucsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/New-Hampshire-King-Tide.jpg

Well done!
Notice how comment has ceased?
Could be the “calm before the storm” (or is it now “storms” as climate change is supposed to be increasing extreme weather events).

Canberroid said :

dungfungus said :

Canberroid said :

dungfungus said :

“it’s a massive public health concern”
Where is the evidence of this? It’s getting a bit like the so-called anthropogenic climate change saga with massive media beat-ups and dire predictions?

Those dire predictions may well be correct, and you’ve demonstrated your thorough lack of understanding of the science behind climate change on multiple occasions. Comparing your views on the health concerns of loose-fill asbestos to that of climate change science doesn’t add much weight to your argument.

My understanding of your version of climate change is that it is a complete fraud. You can’t even supply me with a photo of sea levels that have actually risen.
It would be in bad taste to also ask for the names of two people who have died as a result of being residents in Mr Fluffy homes.

I can’t supply you with a photo of Captain Cook either, but I’m pretty sure he existed. Fortunately we have forms of evidence other than photography. Perhaps you’d like to learn more about my version of climate change (as written by the Australian government): http://www.climatechange.gov.au/climate-change/climate-science/climate-change-future/sea-level

I am glad you mentioned Captain Cook because he made an entry in his journal while he was exploring the east coast of Australia when he was Lt.Cook about large fires burning inland. These were probably caused by lightning or aboriginals. The same fires today are blamed on climate change. Other than that, I am not sure why Captain Cook got dragged into this.
The climate change website you have referred me to is nothing but paid opinion. Can’t you see that the people who write these reports and predictions are actually paid to do this? If the same government funding and resources were given to people with my opinions the debate would be over very quickly.

dungfungus said :

Canberroid said :

dungfungus said :

“it’s a massive public health concern”
Where is the evidence of this? It’s getting a bit like the so-called anthropogenic climate change saga with massive media beat-ups and dire predictions?

Those dire predictions may well be correct, and you’ve demonstrated your thorough lack of understanding of the science behind climate change on multiple occasions. Comparing your views on the health concerns of loose-fill asbestos to that of climate change science doesn’t add much weight to your argument.

My understanding of your version of climate change is that it is a complete fraud. You can’t even supply me with a photo of sea levels that have actually risen.
It would be in bad taste to also ask for the names of two people who have died as a result of being residents in Mr Fluffy homes.

I’m with you, dung. Forget variables, means, and tidal gauges.
What we need is pretty piccies and lo, here’s a one for you. It clearly shows the sea level is low in one shot and high in the other. We could even swap the photos so it shows the sea level is dropping, for a laugh.

http://blog.ucsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/New-Hampshire-King-Tide.jpg

dungfungus said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

Reprobate said :

If one good thing can come out of the Mr Fluffy mess, please let it be that light rail is now given the flick and those funds be diverted to cover the Commonwealth shortfall. There is no way known that we can fund both of these huge financial commitments simultaneously over the next 10 years!

As I understand it, the Light Rail is one of the initiatives/stimulus things that has already been “exempted” from impact of the Mr Fluffy fall out/cost to be met by the ACT Gov’t.

Therefore, Light Rail it will go ahead, regardless of finding the $ for Mr Fluffy compo.

I wonder how Capital Metro will handle the excavation and re-location of the asbestos-cement water pipes and other nasties it finds.

Do you not know the difference between friable and no friable asbestos? Looking at your comments here I would say not.

Is it important or are you just signalling you are about to give a detailed analysis which won’t answer my question?.

Of course it is important otherwise I wouldn’t have asked. You are the one carping on about asbestos pipes and sheeting yet clearly don’t know the difference between friable and non friable asbestos.

Non friable is bound in something else like a resin, examples would be sheeting. This is not actually dangerous until you break or drill into it. Friable on the other hand is loose, like Mr Fluffy insulation and can easily become airborne. The latter is significantly more dangerous than non friable.

Tezza7420 said :

chewy14 – why should these people be “partly responsible for the clean up”. I suspect you and many others are confusing the risk of loose asbestos fibres with bonded asbestos products. The Government has been negligent in not informing homeowners of the risks and/or presence of fibres. And in any event it would seem that, irrespective of any buyback most homeowners and tenants have copped a mammoth financial burden as I have outlined before.

No, I know the difference between these types of asbestos.

But can you please tell me how the local government is wholly responsible for this cleanup and the owners of the houses not responsible at all? Surely the buyer of a property is responsible for inspection of their property before they purchase it and take over responsibility for the property once they purchase it.

Why exactly is it the local government’s responsibility for this issue considering that the federal government took responsibility back in 1988 and organised the original clean up work? Where does the government’s liability stop and the householders liability begin?

I’m a Mr Fluffy owner and know many other people who are, too.

Dungfungas and Chewy14: we bought our house on the understanding that Mr Fluffy had been removed from our property in the 80’s and it was safe. However, we had the house inspected, as all home-buyers should, and were told the property was all fine. We extended out home last year with the extension approved by ACTPLA – this included cutting into existing walls, roof etc. ACTPLA approved all this and obviously didn’t look at the housing files as the Gov’t knew about the ‘new’ Mr Fluffy issue and which houses were involved. No-one bothered to tell us. Our builder also hired a subcontractor who should have gone through our house file. If he’d done his job properly, he’d have seen it was a fluffy house and put in place an Asbestos Management Plan. At any stage had these ‘paid-for’ checks and balances disclosed that there may be an issue, we’d have decided not to extend (or go into the related debt). Like all other home owners that we know, we did all we can. We were let down by a few people, especially the Gov’t. We’re not asking for one more cent more than we’re entitled to, but we shouldn’t be left out of pocket – especially to the tune of 10’s of thousands of dollars. BTW: I know a family who have gone bankrupt over this.

dungfungus said :

Canberroid said :

dungfungus said :

“it’s a massive public health concern”
Where is the evidence of this? It’s getting a bit like the so-called anthropogenic climate change saga with massive media beat-ups and dire predictions?

Those dire predictions may well be correct, and you’ve demonstrated your thorough lack of understanding of the science behind climate change on multiple occasions. Comparing your views on the health concerns of loose-fill asbestos to that of climate change science doesn’t add much weight to your argument.

My understanding of your version of climate change is that it is a complete fraud. You can’t even supply me with a photo of sea levels that have actually risen.
It would be in bad taste to also ask for the names of two people who have died as a result of being residents in Mr Fluffy homes.

I can’t supply you with a photo of Captain Cook either, but I’m pretty sure he existed. Fortunately we have forms of evidence other than photography. Perhaps you’d like to learn more about my version of climate change (as written by the Australian government): http://www.climatechange.gov.au/climate-change/climate-science/climate-change-future/sea-level

JC said :

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

Reprobate said :

If one good thing can come out of the Mr Fluffy mess, please let it be that light rail is now given the flick and those funds be diverted to cover the Commonwealth shortfall. There is no way known that we can fund both of these huge financial commitments simultaneously over the next 10 years!

As I understand it, the Light Rail is one of the initiatives/stimulus things that has already been “exempted” from impact of the Mr Fluffy fall out/cost to be met by the ACT Gov’t.

Therefore, Light Rail it will go ahead, regardless of finding the $ for Mr Fluffy compo.

I wonder how Capital Metro will handle the excavation and re-location of the asbestos-cement water pipes and other nasties it finds.

Do you not know the difference between friable and no friable asbestos? Looking at your comments here I would say not.

Is it important or are you just signalling you are about to give a detailed analysis which won’t answer my question?.

Canberroid said :

dungfungus said :

“it’s a massive public health concern”
Where is the evidence of this? It’s getting a bit like the so-called anthropogenic climate change saga with massive media beat-ups and dire predictions?

Those dire predictions may well be correct, and you’ve demonstrated your thorough lack of understanding of the science behind climate change on multiple occasions. Comparing your views on the health concerns of loose-fill asbestos to that of climate change science doesn’t add much weight to your argument.

My understanding of your version of climate change is that it is a complete fraud. You can’t even supply me with a photo of sea levels that have actually risen.
It would be in bad taste to also ask for the names of two people who have died as a result of being residents in Mr Fluffy homes.

dungfungus said :

“it’s a massive public health concern”
Where is the evidence of this? It’s getting a bit like the so-called anthropogenic climate change saga with massive media beat-ups and dire predictions?

Those dire predictions may well be correct, and you’ve demonstrated your thorough lack of understanding of the science behind climate change on multiple occasions. Comparing your views on the health concerns of loose-fill asbestos to that of climate change science doesn’t add much weight to your argument.

Limestone_Lizzy9:39 am 30 Oct 14

Will this apply to those who knowingly bought a Mr Fluffy house?

If we are going to waste a lazy billion we don’t have, I at least want a monorail for it

Tezza7420 said :

First, I’ve read a bit more about the proposal. This “acquisition by stealth” is a new realm and could be applied in all manner of ways. Re the fluffy situation, owners have six months to sign up or cop the new stringent rules, at great personal expense and which sound like the houses will be unlivable anyway. Those that say “bad luck” remember that this idea could be applied to your home for some other reason in the future.

chewy14 – why should these people be “partly responsible for the clean up”. I suspect you and many others are confusing the risk of loose asbestos fibres with bonded asbestos products. The Government has been negligent in not informing homeowners of the risks and/or presence of fibres. And in any event it would seem that, irrespective of any buyback most homeowners and tenants have copped a mammoth financial burden as I have outlined before.

Sandman – I highly doubt anyone “got a good deal” when they purchased their house. Anyone who purchased their house after the last removal program at best might have had a single B5? piece of paper included in their purchase documents saying asbestos had been removed and the house was clear to live in.

As for knockdown rebuilds, sure, some people might have been in a financial position and emotionally ready to knock their house down. If these people want to stay on their block they will still have to fund the demolition themselves. If they opt for the buyback they will lose their block, they might get the chance to buy half of it back eventually – which might take five years – and ACT housing will get first dibs on the other half.

dungfungus – Homeowners who don’t accept the buyback and decide to stay in their homes will be not able to subdivide their block unless they already live in a non RZ1 zone which permits them to do that. As for your other comments, the fact that you are still comparing this situation with a house with bonded asbestos that you once lived in (as well as trying to compare this disaster to a poorly sited house) is an example of your ignorance. Either that or you are trolling – at great expense and psychological risk to fluffy owners who might be reading posts on this site.

Masquara – You are right! The situation in Queanbeyan and other areas is terrible. I’m sure that every fluffy owner would support compensation for them too. Certainly the FORAG website and facebook page would suggest this. But would you like the ACT Government to fund this also?

Ironically, I’m not condoning it but many fluffy owners outside the ACT still might be able to sell their house without disclosing any contamination if they can claim they didn’t know about it or thought it had been safely removed previously. This arrangement seems to be what many posters here seem to be condoning.

I think people need to realise this is not a handful of “lucky” people. This is over 1000 homes! Possibly the equivalent of a quarter of a suburb! Most of these people have had a massive financial burden imposed on them this year. Stop quoting your mates and relatives or the bloke who was going to knock their house down anyway, who according to you have had a windfall. Show some compassion for the majority of extremely traumatised families.

Before you call me ignorant again please read what I actually say. Are you going to call people who share my opinions ignorant as well?

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

Reprobate said :

If one good thing can come out of the Mr Fluffy mess, please let it be that light rail is now given the flick and those funds be diverted to cover the Commonwealth shortfall. There is no way known that we can fund both of these huge financial commitments simultaneously over the next 10 years!

As I understand it, the Light Rail is one of the initiatives/stimulus things that has already been “exempted” from impact of the Mr Fluffy fall out/cost to be met by the ACT Gov’t.

Therefore, Light Rail it will go ahead, regardless of finding the $ for Mr Fluffy compo.

I wonder how Capital Metro will handle the excavation and re-location of the asbestos-cement water pipes and other nasties it finds.

Do you not know the difference between friable and no friable asbestos? Looking at your comments here I would say not.

First, I’ve read a bit more about the proposal. This “acquisition by stealth” is a new realm and could be applied in all manner of ways. Re the fluffy situation, owners have six months to sign up or cop the new stringent rules, at great personal expense and which sound like the houses will be unlivable anyway. Those that say “bad luck” remember that this idea could be applied to your home for some other reason in the future.

chewy14 – why should these people be “partly responsible for the clean up”. I suspect you and many others are confusing the risk of loose asbestos fibres with bonded asbestos products. The Government has been negligent in not informing homeowners of the risks and/or presence of fibres. And in any event it would seem that, irrespective of any buyback most homeowners and tenants have copped a mammoth financial burden as I have outlined before.

Sandman – I highly doubt anyone “got a good deal” when they purchased their house. Anyone who purchased their house after the last removal program at best might have had a single B5? piece of paper included in their purchase documents saying asbestos had been removed and the house was clear to live in.

As for knockdown rebuilds, sure, some people might have been in a financial position and emotionally ready to knock their house down. If these people want to stay on their block they will still have to fund the demolition themselves. If they opt for the buyback they will lose their block, they might get the chance to buy half of it back eventually – which might take five years – and ACT housing will get first dibs on the other half.

dungfungus – Homeowners who don’t accept the buyback and decide to stay in their homes will be not able to subdivide their block unless they already live in a non RZ1 zone which permits them to do that. As for your other comments, the fact that you are still comparing this situation with a house with bonded asbestos that you once lived in (as well as trying to compare this disaster to a poorly sited house) is an example of your ignorance. Either that or you are trolling – at great expense and psychological risk to fluffy owners who might be reading posts on this site.

Masquara – You are right! The situation in Queanbeyan and other areas is terrible. I’m sure that every fluffy owner would support compensation for them too. Certainly the FORAG website and facebook page would suggest this. But would you like the ACT Government to fund this also?

Ironically, I’m not condoning it but many fluffy owners outside the ACT still might be able to sell their house without disclosing any contamination if they can claim they didn’t know about it or thought it had been safely removed previously. This arrangement seems to be what many posters here seem to be condoning.

I think people need to realise this is not a handful of “lucky” people. This is over 1000 homes! Possibly the equivalent of a quarter of a suburb! Most of these people have had a massive financial burden imposed on them this year. Stop quoting your mates and relatives or the bloke who was going to knock their house down anyway, who according to you have had a windfall. Show some compassion for the majority of extremely traumatised families.

wildturkeycanoe said :

dungfungus – I am a taxpayer too and don’t like to see money wasted. However, I have to disagree on a lot of your comments about this debacle.

It isn’t just bad luck for the home owners that their house and the contents have to be forfeit due to something that happened decades ago. It is a tragedy. If someone came to your front door right now and told you that the whatsamadoovit installed on the roof has poisoned the ceilings and now you have to vacate the premises, leaving everything behind? Would you simply shrug it off and say “Oh well, that’s life for ya.”? Wouldn’t you be praying that someone would come up with something in the way of compensation for ruining your life through no fault of your own? How could you possibly know what a “whatsamadoovit” is when the pre-purchase inspection report cleared the house safe to live in before you bought it? I am happy to pay a fair share to help out a small percentage of our population in a very tricky but traumatic situation. It’s called caring for thy neighbor.

There won’t be any guarantees that one fiber won’t be left, or even a hundred fibers, or a thousand. It is a risk management thing. It only takes one fiber to penetrate your lung lining or your stomach wall and the cancer begins, so believe it when they say the stuff is dangerous.

As for your own home inspection, have you done the asbestos awareness course that is now mandatory for all people working on or around A.C.T houses and buildings? If not, how do you know you don’t have asbestos in your ceiling, or in the eaves, or in the bathroom? If the house is built before 1980, the chances are that it has some form of the stuff somewhere but most people do not know that. Prior to doing the course a few months ago, I had know idea what it looked like and I may have even crawled through the stuff without realizing. How could people have known, people who may have lived in these houses for many, many years?

“It’s the same principle that we have when lazy people who lose everything in a house fire are uninsured and the government steps in to give them compo.”
When has that happened? If it is a normal house fire, I’m sure nobody would step in to give them compo for being uninsured. Canberra bushfires, yes, but that wasn’t a normal house fire was it? That was a major disaster for which the government has powers in place to divert funds to assist in emergency relief and such. If you ask some of the people who suffered floods in our N.S.W – Q.L.D border area some years ago if they received any compensation for being uninsured, or even if they were insured, they would say they didn’t see a cent.

I get where your coming from, but to err is human and to aid someone in trouble is also human. You would make a great finance minister some day. Unpopular, but great fiscally.

“You would make a great finance minister some day. Unpopular, but great fiscally.”
I once applied for a job with ACT Housing as a housing manager. My statement that I had no reservations about evicting rent defaulters was not well received as apparently, that is not the way they account for ratepayers money.
Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.

chewy14 said :

I’m surprised to say I partly agree with Dungfungus on this issue. The owners of these Fluffy homes should definitely be partly responsible for the clean up as everyone who buys a house knows that there are risks of dangerous materials and shonky workmanship to their house when buying. It shouldn’t be up to other rate payers to solely subsidise them for this mistake.

I think a fair compromise would be the government allowing residents to stay in the homes at their own risk (which is most likely not that high) or else offering to buy and demolish the houses for say 90% of the market value. That way the government helps and the owners are still partly responsible.

This is one of those many opinion issues that divide communities and acknowledging the plight of the Mr Fluffy home owners amongst us by assisting them financially up to a limit as you have suggested is a compromise I would be comfortable with.
Of course, the “downstream” issues I have alluded to elsewhere on this thread (especially how the building materials and top soil is are disposed of) have to be addressed as part of the package. Indeed, they may have already been dealt with with but they haven’t been in the headlines.

Masquara said :

Sandman said :

To follow on from my previous musings, after a bit of searching I found several stories (both this year) relating to sale and demolition. One family spent $50,000 to demolish and remediate their site, not $400,000. Yes, they do need a build a new house now but that house will be worth more than their 50 year old one was.
Another couple sold their house for a $50,000 loss compared to their purchase price 4 years ago. While $50,000 is a significant sum it’s less than 10% of the value and not outside the range that could be possible just through standard market fluctuation.
When you think about it, this bad luck for homeowners has happened in the best possible city in the country. Anywhere else and most owners would probably not have had the value rise that a Canberra house will. They may not be as financially ahed as they would have been without a fluffy house but they’re surely in a better position than they would be in another area.

They need to thank their lucky stars they aren’t in Queanbo.

There are no nannies with cotton wool across the border.
The asbestos in the NSW houses is either less potent than the stuff in the ACT or the home owners are more inured to coping with the situation, ongoing.
I note in today’s CT there is a confident prediction that most blocks of land leases purchased by the government will be subdivided to allow two (or more?) dwellings to be built. This is to maximise the clawback. I am unaware if this option is available to the existing Mr Fluffy home owners and if it is will they have to pay a betterment type tax (which obviously the government won’t collect from itself)?.
The demolition of 1000 asbestos contaminated homes (and I presume the top soil) is going to create
a huge land fill problem which will be exacerbated by the special requirements of disposing of asbestos.
I am assuming the remains of the houses and soil will end up in the new Mugga Lane tip (lucky they have that new part ready and what good timing that was) so what precautions are in place to prevent asbestos fibres being carried from the tip by air currents to the suburbs of Fadden, Macarthur and Chisolm to the South?
Canberra could create another Bhopal.
How quickly will the new tip be filled? – 1000 houses and top soil creates a lot of volume.

rommeldog56 said :

Reprobate said :

If one good thing can come out of the Mr Fluffy mess, please let it be that light rail is now given the flick and those funds be diverted to cover the Commonwealth shortfall. There is no way known that we can fund both of these huge financial commitments simultaneously over the next 10 years!

As I understand it, the Light Rail is one of the initiatives/stimulus things that has already been “exempted” from impact of the Mr Fluffy fall out/cost to be met by the ACT Gov’t.

Therefore, Light Rail it will go ahead, regardless of finding the $ for Mr Fluffy compo.

I wonder how Capital Metro will handle the excavation and re-location of the asbestos-cement water pipes and other nasties it finds.

creative_canberran1:38 am 30 Oct 14

HenryBG said :

And this is the reason some of us pay so much in so many different taxes – we have this ridiculous, bloated toad of a government that insists on sloshing taxpayer dollars around on wasteful exercises such as this one.

Instead of wasting a billion dollars on giving a very small number of people a sudden windfall profit, they could give every Canberra household free electricity for 2 and a half years.

It’s moments like this I want to join the teaparty.

The final cost won’t be a billion, there won’t be a windfall for these people, the money spent on this program will go towards employing a lot of local and interstate trades and suppliers which injects money into the economy and we’re talking asbestos, the stuff is dangerous.

rommeldog56 said :

1) The Feds are almost certainly co-responsible for the Mr fluffy situation. I’ve heard many Lawyers say that.

Morally they are, legally is another question. Some lawyers have suggested the Commonwealth or ACT could be liable, but finding a cause of action is the difficulty and some lawyers have said there isn’t. Those in a position to sign off on taking an action against the government have thus far said, nope, not ready.

Sandman said :

To follow on from my previous musings, after a bit of searching I found several stories (both this year) relating to sale and demolition. One family spent $50,000 to demolish and remediate their site, not $400,000. Yes, they do need a build a new house now but that house will be worth more than their 50 year old one was.
Another couple sold their house for a $50,000 loss compared to their purchase price 4 years ago. While $50,000 is a significant sum it’s less than 10% of the value and not outside the range that could be possible just through standard market fluctuation.
When you think about it, this bad luck for homeowners has happened in the best possible city in the country. Anywhere else and most owners would probably not have had the value rise that a Canberra house will. They may not be as financially ahed as they would have been without a fluffy house but they’re surely in a better position than they would be in another area.

They need to thank their lucky stars they aren’t in Queanbo.

To follow on from my previous musings, after a bit of searching I found several stories (both this year) relating to sale and demolition. One family spent $50,000 to demolish and remediate their site, not $400,000. Yes, they do need a build a new house now but that house will be worth more than their 50 year old one was.
Another couple sold their house for a $50,000 loss compared to their purchase price 4 years ago. While $50,000 is a significant sum it’s less than 10% of the value and not outside the range that could be possible just through standard market fluctuation.
When you think about it, this bad luck for homeowners has happened in the best possible city in the country. Anywhere else and most owners would probably not have had the value rise that a Canberra house will. They may not be as financially ahed as they would have been without a fluffy house but they’re surely in a better position than they would be in another area.

dungfungus said :

With the greatest respect, the Mr Fluffy problem is solely the problem of the home owners concerned.
It is plain “bad luck” that they find themselves in this position and they should sort it out themselves without any financial assistance from taxpayers.
As someone else has pointed out on this thread the Mr Fluffy debacle is not a natural disaster and accordingly does not warrant any governmental financial assistance.
I don’t like the way my house is sited according to where the sun shines so does this entitle me to get the taxpayer to build me a new house? Of course it doesn’t.
If you insist on apportioning liability onto a government entity you should direct your ire to the ACT Government that botched the “free” asbestos removal job on the same houses 20 years ago.
I am not happy that the ACT Chief Minister has accepted a huge loan which will require an equally huge bureaucracy to run it with little likelihood of recovering any money based on this government’s track record on administering similar schemes.

I was starting to think I was the only one with this view on the matter.

Did the people who bought these homes on the assumption it had been fully cleaned get a better deal than normal because it was an ex-fluffy?
What are the ones that have hit the market before the announcement been selling for. They’re basically selling as a knockdown rebuild, surely they’re not taking a $400,000 loss on just the land value.

As is the case with most of these government funded assistance program’s, most of the money will end up in the pockets of the “approved specialist remediation contractors”, or more precisely the owners of said companies. I hope they give Katy a good Christmas present this year in appreciation.

I have a mr fluffy house. I expect to receive between 1.2 and 1.4 million. My house is fully owned. I am trying to decide how to best use the money i.e. Purchase a new property or purchase the land back and rebuild or purchase a couple of blocks of land and build a couple of houses then sell one.

My thoughts are to use the $10000 relief money to rent, purchase a block and build (Spend approx half the money), Move into the new property, purchase another block of land and build. Move into the new property, sell the old property for a profit, build again, so on and so on.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

I’m surprised to say I partly agree with Dungfungus on this issue. The owners of these Fluffy homes should definitely be partly responsible for the clean up as everyone who buys a house knows that there are risks of dangerous materials and shonky workmanship to their house when buying. It shouldn’t be up to other rate payers to solely subsidise them for this mistake.

I think a fair compromise would be the government allowing residents to stay in the homes at their own risk (which is most likely not that high) or else offering to buy and demolish the houses for say 90% of the market value. That way the government helps and the owners are still partly responsible.

wildturkeycanoe5:33 pm 29 Oct 14

dungfungus – I am a taxpayer too and don’t like to see money wasted. However, I have to disagree on a lot of your comments about this debacle.

It isn’t just bad luck for the home owners that their house and the contents have to be forfeit due to something that happened decades ago. It is a tragedy. If someone came to your front door right now and told you that the whatsamadoovit installed on the roof has poisoned the ceilings and now you have to vacate the premises, leaving everything behind? Would you simply shrug it off and say “Oh well, that’s life for ya.”? Wouldn’t you be praying that someone would come up with something in the way of compensation for ruining your life through no fault of your own? How could you possibly know what a “whatsamadoovit” is when the pre-purchase inspection report cleared the house safe to live in before you bought it? I am happy to pay a fair share to help out a small percentage of our population in a very tricky but traumatic situation. It’s called caring for thy neighbor.

There won’t be any guarantees that one fiber won’t be left, or even a hundred fibers, or a thousand. It is a risk management thing. It only takes one fiber to penetrate your lung lining or your stomach wall and the cancer begins, so believe it when they say the stuff is dangerous.

As for your own home inspection, have you done the asbestos awareness course that is now mandatory for all people working on or around A.C.T houses and buildings? If not, how do you know you don’t have asbestos in your ceiling, or in the eaves, or in the bathroom? If the house is built before 1980, the chances are that it has some form of the stuff somewhere but most people do not know that. Prior to doing the course a few months ago, I had know idea what it looked like and I may have even crawled through the stuff without realizing. How could people have known, people who may have lived in these houses for many, many years?

“It’s the same principle that we have when lazy people who lose everything in a house fire are uninsured and the government steps in to give them compo.”
When has that happened? If it is a normal house fire, I’m sure nobody would step in to give them compo for being uninsured. Canberra bushfires, yes, but that wasn’t a normal house fire was it? That was a major disaster for which the government has powers in place to divert funds to assist in emergency relief and such. If you ask some of the people who suffered floods in our N.S.W – Q.L.D border area some years ago if they received any compensation for being uninsured, or even if they were insured, they would say they didn’t see a cent.

I get where your coming from, but to err is human and to aid someone in trouble is also human. You would make a great finance minister some day. Unpopular, but great fiscally.

JC said :

dungfungus said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

With the greatest respect, the Mr Fluffy problem is solely the problem of the home owners concerned.
It is plain “bad luck” that they find themselves in this position and they should sort it out themselves without any financial assistance from taxpayers.
As someone else has pointed out on this thread the Mr Fluffy debacle is not a natural disaster and accordingly does not warrant any governmental financial assistance.
I don’t like the way my house is sited according to where the sun shines so does this entitle me to get the taxpayer to build me a new house? Of course it doesn’t.
If you insist on apportioning liability onto a government entity you should direct your ire to the ACT Government that botched the “free” asbestos removal job on the same houses 20 years ago.
I am not happy that the ACT Chief Minister has accepted a huge loan which will require an equally huge bureaucracy to run it with little likelihood of recovering any money based on this government’s track record on administering similar schemes.

Cr$p. Mr Fluffy houses are a PUBLIC health risk, that does not rest with the home owners. Next you will be saying if someone gets mesothelioma then they should be suing the home owners.

Comparing the siting of your house to Mr Fluffy homes is irrelevant and is quite disrespectful despite your first line saying with all respect.

Besides even those that knew they lived in Mr Fluffy homes would not have expected there to be any residue left over. Considering they were ‘cleaned’ in the late 80’s early 90’s.

As for the political aspects of this, this is very much a federal responsibility. It was THEIR program that has failed, so they should remedy this. Though blaming Gallagher is a bit low, considering the ponce that is in charge up on Capital Hill. Trying to negotiate with that lot would be like trying to pull teeth.

Sure some will think of this as some great winfall but others will be loosing homes they love and will be forced to move elsewhere. And no I don’t own one and I don’t know anyone who does.

Can anyone guarantee that even if the said homes are demolished there will be not one asbestos fibre left on the site?
At the risk of you overreacting again in response, how many people do you know that live in Mr Fluffy homes have contracted mesothelioma? I know that there have been a few reports of this but I know people who have never lived in/near one of these homes or an identified asbestos source who have contracted mesothelioma.
If it were the “public health” issue that you say it is then at least 1,000 families would have contracted it by now.
Regarding your disguised “blame Abbott” comment, more people have died from Rudd’s roof insulation fiasco that the Mr Fluffy issue.

First the last comment. I didn’t blame Abbott for anyone getting cancer from Mr Fluffy. I did say that he would be a mongrel to negotiate anything with and that the feds should be accepting more responsibility.

As for the homes I just cannot beleive that you cannot see the health issue living or indeed working on these homes. Would you live or work in one? No didn’t think so. As for compaing one of these to a poorly sighted home, just goes to show doesn’t it?

Regardless of how you spin it, these homes are a health issue. People may not have died, but people may well, we just never know. But your suggestion is to burry ones head in the sand, or maybe like Lang Hancock in a pile of blue asbestos.

I think the health issue with Mr Fluffy homes is highly exaggerated. You are conceding that there is no proof of a higher than normal death rate for people living in these houses. If I owned a Mr Fluffy house I would live in it – I lived for the 20 first years of my life in a fibro-asbetos clad house with fibro roof gutters leading into our drinking water tank. Are you aware that Canberra has a lot of asbestos -cement water mains? Are you aware that up until the 1070’s beer and wine was filtered through asbestos before consumption?
Lang Hancock (who discovered the stuff – he didn’t invent it) was never have reported to have buried his head in a pile of blue asbestos (after marrying Rose he probably wished he did) and although he had lots of physical contact with the stuff it didn’t kill him. He is reported to have sprinkled it on his corn flakes and eaten it, as a party joke.
Saying you didn’t blame Abbott for anyone getting cancer via Mr Fluffy is nonsense also as no one has claimed to have contracted mesothelioma from a Mr Fluffy house.
Poor Abbott, he happens to be the PM when our Chief Minister decides to do something about this problem even though she has been sitting on it for several years. Somehow that makes him a ponce.
There is no blame to apportion with this issue. As is often said, “sh*t happens” and it is up to the home owners to sort it out individually without dipping into someone else’s pocket.

dungfungus said :

goody658 said :

dungfungus said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

With the greatest respect, the Mr Fluffy problem is solely the problem of the home owners concerned.
It is plain “bad luck” that they find themselves in this position and they should sort it out themselves without any financial assistance from taxpayers.
As someone else has pointed out on this thread the Mr Fluffy debacle is not a natural disaster and accordingly does not warrant any governmental financial assistance.
I don’t like the way my house is sited according to where the sun shines so does this entitle me to get the taxpayer to build me a new house? Of course it doesn’t.
If you insist on apportioning liability onto a government entity you should direct your ire to the ACT Government that botched the “free” asbestos removal job on the same houses 20 years ago.
I am not happy that the ACT Chief Minister has accepted a huge loan which will require an equally huge bureaucracy to run it with little likelihood of recovering any money based on this government’s track record on administering similar schemes.

Cr$p. Mr Fluffy houses are a PUBLIC health risk, that does not rest with the home owners. Next you will be saying if someone gets mesothelioma then they should be suing the home owners.

Comparing the siting of your house to Mr Fluffy homes is irrelevant and is quite disrespectful despite your first line saying with all respect.

Besides even those that knew they lived in Mr Fluffy homes would not have expected there to be any residue left over. Considering they were ‘cleaned’ in the late 80’s early 90’s.

As for the political aspects of this, this is very much a federal responsibility. It was THEIR program that has failed, so they should remedy this. Though blaming Gallagher is a bit low, considering the ponce that is in charge up on Capital Hill. Trying to negotiate with that lot would be like trying to pull teeth.

Sure some will think of this as some great winfall but others will be loosing homes they love and will be forced to move elsewhere. And no I don’t own one and I don’t know anyone who does.

Can anyone guarantee that even if the said homes are demolished there will be not one asbestos fibre left on the site?
At the risk of you overreacting again in response, how many people do you know that live in Mr Fluffy homes have contracted mesothelioma? I know that there have been a few reports of this but I know people who have never lived in/near one of these homes or an identified asbestos source who have contracted mesothelioma.
If it were the “public health” issue that you say it is then at least 1,000 families would have contracted it by now.
Regarding your disguised “blame Abbott” comment, more people have died from Rudd’s roof insulation fiasco that the Mr Fluffy issue.

Yes but your poorly sited house isnt a toxic place to live, Fluffy houses effects not only the owners but also anyone who rents or renovates now or in the future. This is a public health concern that should be dealt with correctly.

One or two houses with mr fluffy you might be able to use the bad luck argument over a 1000 then no its a massive public health concern.

“it’s a massive public health concern”
Where is the evidence of this? It’s getting a bit like the so-called anthropogenic climate change saga with massive media beat-ups and dire predictions?
And sure, the siting of my house isn’t really any sort of a health issue but that is not the point which is the buyer should always examine all possible problem with houses they buy.
I was aware and took a punt when I bought the house and now I am living with it.
I always get a search done for termite presence and I always (personally) look in the ceiling to see what sort of insulation is there.
Why should responsible people end up carrying the can for the ones that don’t bother? It’s the same principle that we have when lazy people who lose everything in a house fire are uninsured and the government steps in to give them compo.

All visible asbestos was removed pre 1993. 1993 information on relevant building files provided a “certificate of clearance” to occupy the property and, at best, indicated in VERY small print that there was a “possibility of fibres in wall cavities”. There was no other information. If one was to buy a house, remnant asbestos insulation would only be identifiable by ripping out all walls etc or by having time consuming, expensive and potentially non-conclusive tests done for microscopic fibres. What due dilligence should these people have done that you were so clever to have done yourself?

As for the health risks, you may be right …. to date. I’m not aware of very many people who have an asbestos related lung condition that could be attributable to a Mr Fluffy house. I have read several reported cases of people with, predominantly, digestive related diseases which might be attributable to ingesting asbestos fibres but no-one knows for certain.

The Government has reported statistics of the possible increased likelihood (but not certainty) of home owners living in asbestos contaminated homes contracting an asbestos related disease. As well, they have referred to evidence of the increased risk to children – partly because they might inhale or ingest fibres while their tissue is still developing and presumably partly because of their lifestyle (ie crawling around on the floors and in tight spaces and chewing on everything they touch).

The insulation debacle was a terrible tragedy. No-one should have to live through that. But it’s not right to compare with this disaster, which has a typical latency period of between 20 to 70 years. And before you point out that most people will die from something else in that 70 year period, that still doesn’t preclude homeowners forever worrying about their loved ones including children.

Even if you continue to ignore the health risks because in your eyes only one or two might get sick in the next 70 years, these homeowners have had a massive financial setback or, even, devastation. Some might have been happy to continue to live in their home but have been told they will likely have to move. They have had new obligations and restrictions imposed on them while they stay in their homes. Homeowners have been told what contents, if any that they can take with them, what will be a risk to take with them and what they must leave behind without recompense. Based on your views then, it is not the homeowners who are being hysterical, it’s the Government who are imposing all of these requirements.

dungfungus said :

goody658 said :

dungfungus said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

With the greatest respect, the Mr Fluffy problem is solely the problem of the home owners concerned.
It is plain “bad luck” that they find themselves in this position and they should sort it out themselves without any financial assistance from taxpayers.
As someone else has pointed out on this thread the Mr Fluffy debacle is not a natural disaster and accordingly does not warrant any governmental financial assistance.
I don’t like the way my house is sited according to where the sun shines so does this entitle me to get the taxpayer to build me a new house? Of course it doesn’t.
If you insist on apportioning liability onto a government entity you should direct your ire to the ACT Government that botched the “free” asbestos removal job on the same houses 20 years ago.
I am not happy that the ACT Chief Minister has accepted a huge loan which will require an equally huge bureaucracy to run it with little likelihood of recovering any money based on this government’s track record on administering similar schemes.

Cr$p. Mr Fluffy houses are a PUBLIC health risk, that does not rest with the home owners. Next you will be saying if someone gets mesothelioma then they should be suing the home owners.

Comparing the siting of your house to Mr Fluffy homes is irrelevant and is quite disrespectful despite your first line saying with all respect.

Besides even those that knew they lived in Mr Fluffy homes would not have expected there to be any residue left over. Considering they were ‘cleaned’ in the late 80’s early 90’s.

As for the political aspects of this, this is very much a federal responsibility. It was THEIR program that has failed, so they should remedy this. Though blaming Gallagher is a bit low, considering the ponce that is in charge up on Capital Hill. Trying to negotiate with that lot would be like trying to pull teeth.

Sure some will think of this as some great winfall but others will be loosing homes they love and will be forced to move elsewhere. And no I don’t own one and I don’t know anyone who does.

Can anyone guarantee that even if the said homes are demolished there will be not one asbestos fibre left on the site?
At the risk of you overreacting again in response, how many people do you know that live in Mr Fluffy homes have contracted mesothelioma? I know that there have been a few reports of this but I know people who have never lived in/near one of these homes or an identified asbestos source who have contracted mesothelioma.
If it were the “public health” issue that you say it is then at least 1,000 families would have contracted it by now.
Regarding your disguised “blame Abbott” comment, more people have died from Rudd’s roof insulation fiasco that the Mr Fluffy issue.

Yes but your poorly sited house isnt a toxic place to live, Fluffy houses effects not only the owners but also anyone who rents or renovates now or in the future. This is a public health concern that should be dealt with correctly.

One or two houses with mr fluffy you might be able to use the bad luck argument over a 1000 then no its a massive public health concern.

“it’s a massive public health concern”
Where is the evidence of this? It’s getting a bit like the so-called anthropogenic climate change saga with massive media beat-ups and dire predictions?
And sure, the siting of my house isn’t really any sort of a health issue but that is not the point which is the buyer should always examine all possible problem with houses they buy.
I was aware and took a punt when I bought the house and now I am living with it.
I always get a search done for termite presence and I always (personally) look in the ceiling to see what sort of insulation is there.
Why should responsible people end up carrying the can for the ones that don’t bother? It’s the same principle that we have when lazy people who lose everything in a house fire are uninsured and the government steps in to give them compo.

Unlike many other cancers, mesothelioma has quite a significant lag between exposure and diagnosis, in some cases up to 50 years later (average about 30 years), but usually never earlier than 15 (exceptional examples include ground zero first responders at the world trade centre, etc.). I’d say that’s a reasonable public health issue.

I know of people who own a Mr Fluffy house, they bought it 45 years ago when they were told it was safe – they trusted what they were told by the experts. Naught to do with not bothering to check, laziness, or whatever other excuse you think they’re using just so they can fleece Canberra tax payers out of 100s of thousands of dollars (yeah, they pay taxes here too … it makes sense they’d want their own rates to go up just so they can lose the much loved home they’ve lived in for most of their lives).

dungfungus said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

With the greatest respect, the Mr Fluffy problem is solely the problem of the home owners concerned.
It is plain “bad luck” that they find themselves in this position and they should sort it out themselves without any financial assistance from taxpayers.
As someone else has pointed out on this thread the Mr Fluffy debacle is not a natural disaster and accordingly does not warrant any governmental financial assistance.
I don’t like the way my house is sited according to where the sun shines so does this entitle me to get the taxpayer to build me a new house? Of course it doesn’t.
If you insist on apportioning liability onto a government entity you should direct your ire to the ACT Government that botched the “free” asbestos removal job on the same houses 20 years ago.
I am not happy that the ACT Chief Minister has accepted a huge loan which will require an equally huge bureaucracy to run it with little likelihood of recovering any money based on this government’s track record on administering similar schemes.

Cr$p. Mr Fluffy houses are a PUBLIC health risk, that does not rest with the home owners. Next you will be saying if someone gets mesothelioma then they should be suing the home owners.

Comparing the siting of your house to Mr Fluffy homes is irrelevant and is quite disrespectful despite your first line saying with all respect.

Besides even those that knew they lived in Mr Fluffy homes would not have expected there to be any residue left over. Considering they were ‘cleaned’ in the late 80’s early 90’s.

As for the political aspects of this, this is very much a federal responsibility. It was THEIR program that has failed, so they should remedy this. Though blaming Gallagher is a bit low, considering the ponce that is in charge up on Capital Hill. Trying to negotiate with that lot would be like trying to pull teeth.

Sure some will think of this as some great winfall but others will be loosing homes they love and will be forced to move elsewhere. And no I don’t own one and I don’t know anyone who does.

Can anyone guarantee that even if the said homes are demolished there will be not one asbestos fibre left on the site?
At the risk of you overreacting again in response, how many people do you know that live in Mr Fluffy homes have contracted mesothelioma? I know that there have been a few reports of this but I know people who have never lived in/near one of these homes or an identified asbestos source who have contracted mesothelioma.
If it were the “public health” issue that you say it is then at least 1,000 families would have contracted it by now.
Regarding your disguised “blame Abbott” comment, more people have died from Rudd’s roof insulation fiasco that the Mr Fluffy issue.

First the last comment. I didn’t blame Abbott for anyone getting cancer from Mr Fluffy. I did say that he would be a mongrel to negotiate anything with and that the feds should be accepting more responsibility.

As for the homes I just cannot beleive that you cannot see the health issue living or indeed working on these homes. Would you live or work in one? No didn’t think so. As for compaing one of these to a poorly sighted home, just goes to show doesn’t it?

Regardless of how you spin it, these homes are a health issue. People may not have died, but people may well, we just never know. But your suggestion is to burry ones head in the sand, or maybe like Lang Hancock in a pile of blue asbestos.

rommeldog56 said :

Reprobate said :

If one good thing can come out of the Mr Fluffy mess, please let it be that light rail is now given the flick and those funds be diverted to cover the Commonwealth shortfall. There is no way known that we can fund both of these huge financial commitments simultaneously over the next 10 years!

As I understand it, the Light Rail is one of the initiatives/stimulus things that has already been “exempted” from impact of the Mr Fluffy fall out/cost to be met by the ACT Gov’t.

Therefore, Light Rail it will go ahead, regardless of finding the $ for Mr Fluffy compo.

I wonder if there will be stamp duty exemptions for the Mr Fluffy victims who have to buy another house?
The ACT is becoming the compo and exemption capital of the world.

goody658 said :

dungfungus said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

With the greatest respect, the Mr Fluffy problem is solely the problem of the home owners concerned.
It is plain “bad luck” that they find themselves in this position and they should sort it out themselves without any financial assistance from taxpayers.
As someone else has pointed out on this thread the Mr Fluffy debacle is not a natural disaster and accordingly does not warrant any governmental financial assistance.
I don’t like the way my house is sited according to where the sun shines so does this entitle me to get the taxpayer to build me a new house? Of course it doesn’t.
If you insist on apportioning liability onto a government entity you should direct your ire to the ACT Government that botched the “free” asbestos removal job on the same houses 20 years ago.
I am not happy that the ACT Chief Minister has accepted a huge loan which will require an equally huge bureaucracy to run it with little likelihood of recovering any money based on this government’s track record on administering similar schemes.

Cr$p. Mr Fluffy houses are a PUBLIC health risk, that does not rest with the home owners. Next you will be saying if someone gets mesothelioma then they should be suing the home owners.

Comparing the siting of your house to Mr Fluffy homes is irrelevant and is quite disrespectful despite your first line saying with all respect.

Besides even those that knew they lived in Mr Fluffy homes would not have expected there to be any residue left over. Considering they were ‘cleaned’ in the late 80’s early 90’s.

As for the political aspects of this, this is very much a federal responsibility. It was THEIR program that has failed, so they should remedy this. Though blaming Gallagher is a bit low, considering the ponce that is in charge up on Capital Hill. Trying to negotiate with that lot would be like trying to pull teeth.

Sure some will think of this as some great winfall but others will be loosing homes they love and will be forced to move elsewhere. And no I don’t own one and I don’t know anyone who does.

Can anyone guarantee that even if the said homes are demolished there will be not one asbestos fibre left on the site?
At the risk of you overreacting again in response, how many people do you know that live in Mr Fluffy homes have contracted mesothelioma? I know that there have been a few reports of this but I know people who have never lived in/near one of these homes or an identified asbestos source who have contracted mesothelioma.
If it were the “public health” issue that you say it is then at least 1,000 families would have contracted it by now.
Regarding your disguised “blame Abbott” comment, more people have died from Rudd’s roof insulation fiasco that the Mr Fluffy issue.

Yes but your poorly sited house isnt a toxic place to live, Fluffy houses effects not only the owners but also anyone who rents or renovates now or in the future. This is a public health concern that should be dealt with correctly.

One or two houses with mr fluffy you might be able to use the bad luck argument over a 1000 then no its a massive public health concern.

“it’s a massive public health concern”
Where is the evidence of this? It’s getting a bit like the so-called anthropogenic climate change saga with massive media beat-ups and dire predictions?
And sure, the siting of my house isn’t really any sort of a health issue but that is not the point which is the buyer should always examine all possible problem with houses they buy.
I was aware and took a punt when I bought the house and now I am living with it.
I always get a search done for termite presence and I always (personally) look in the ceiling to see what sort of insulation is there.
Why should responsible people end up carrying the can for the ones that don’t bother? It’s the same principle that we have when lazy people who lose everything in a house fire are uninsured and the government steps in to give them compo.

Reprobate said :

If one good thing can come out of the Mr Fluffy mess, please let it be that light rail is now given the flick and those funds be diverted to cover the Commonwealth shortfall. There is no way known that we can fund both of these huge financial commitments simultaneously over the next 10 years!

As I understand it, the Light Rail is one of the initiatives/stimulus things that has already been “exempted” from impact of the Mr Fluffy fall out/cost to be met by the ACT Gov’t.

Therefore, Light Rail it will go ahead, regardless of finding the $ for Mr Fluffy compo.

mr_pink said :

I am very disappointed with both the Federal and ACT Government on this matter. Both have behave just like James Hardy did back in the 70s. Both Governments were warned of the risks, they knew their actions and inaction would kill people and they let it go on.

There needs to be a royal commission into this matter.

I’m sure i’ll be corrected on this, but as I recall, earlier this year our own Chief minister admitted that she had received reports about the contamination in a past role that she had as a Minister in the (then) ACT Gov’t, but did not act on those – apparently because the reports (presumably from independent experts ?) did not say that she had to (that may have depended on the terms of reference for commisioning those reports, too).

Maybe the possible co culpability of the ACT Gov’t by not acting sooner – like a decade or so ago – influenced the Feds offer.

Maybe thats why possible court action against the Fed’s doesnt seem to be considered as an option by the ACT Gov’t (along with the consequent delay + ongoing impact on Fluffy affected residents of course) – possible dirty linen ?

Connspiracy theories could abound, except for the ACT Ratepayers of course, who will have to foot the bill………

I am very disappointed with both the Federal and ACT Government on this matter. Both have behave just like James Hardy did back in the 70s. Both Governments were warned of the risks, they knew their actions and inaction would kill people and they let it go on.

There needs to be a royal commission into this matter.

dungfungus said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

With the greatest respect, the Mr Fluffy problem is solely the problem of the home owners concerned.
It is plain “bad luck” that they find themselves in this position and they should sort it out themselves without any financial assistance from taxpayers.
As someone else has pointed out on this thread the Mr Fluffy debacle is not a natural disaster and accordingly does not warrant any governmental financial assistance.
I don’t like the way my house is sited according to where the sun shines so does this entitle me to get the taxpayer to build me a new house? Of course it doesn’t.
If you insist on apportioning liability onto a government entity you should direct your ire to the ACT Government that botched the “free” asbestos removal job on the same houses 20 years ago.
I am not happy that the ACT Chief Minister has accepted a huge loan which will require an equally huge bureaucracy to run it with little likelihood of recovering any money based on this government’s track record on administering similar schemes.

Cr$p. Mr Fluffy houses are a PUBLIC health risk, that does not rest with the home owners. Next you will be saying if someone gets mesothelioma then they should be suing the home owners.

Comparing the siting of your house to Mr Fluffy homes is irrelevant and is quite disrespectful despite your first line saying with all respect.

Besides even those that knew they lived in Mr Fluffy homes would not have expected there to be any residue left over. Considering they were ‘cleaned’ in the late 80’s early 90’s.

As for the political aspects of this, this is very much a federal responsibility. It was THEIR program that has failed, so they should remedy this. Though blaming Gallagher is a bit low, considering the ponce that is in charge up on Capital Hill. Trying to negotiate with that lot would be like trying to pull teeth.

Sure some will think of this as some great winfall but others will be loosing homes they love and will be forced to move elsewhere. And no I don’t own one and I don’t know anyone who does.

Can anyone guarantee that even if the said homes are demolished there will be not one asbestos fibre left on the site?
At the risk of you overreacting again in response, how many people do you know that live in Mr Fluffy homes have contracted mesothelioma? I know that there have been a few reports of this but I know people who have never lived in/near one of these homes or an identified asbestos source who have contracted mesothelioma.
If it were the “public health” issue that you say it is then at least 1,000 families would have contracted it by now.
Regarding your disguised “blame Abbott” comment, more people have died from Rudd’s roof insulation fiasco that the Mr Fluffy issue.

Yes but your poorly sited house isnt a toxic place to live, Fluffy houses effects not only the owners but also anyone who rents or renovates now or in the future. This is a public health concern that should be dealt with correctly. One or two houses with mr fluffy you might be able to use the bad luck argument over a 1000 then no its a massive public health concern.

One hopes that this will be managed and reported on a as a separate line of funding. If it disappears into consolidated revenue we’re all stuffed – or, rather, even more stuffed.

JC said :

dungfungus said :

With the greatest respect, the Mr Fluffy problem is solely the problem of the home owners concerned.
It is plain “bad luck” that they find themselves in this position and they should sort it out themselves without any financial assistance from taxpayers.
As someone else has pointed out on this thread the Mr Fluffy debacle is not a natural disaster and accordingly does not warrant any governmental financial assistance.
I don’t like the way my house is sited according to where the sun shines so does this entitle me to get the taxpayer to build me a new house? Of course it doesn’t.
If you insist on apportioning liability onto a government entity you should direct your ire to the ACT Government that botched the “free” asbestos removal job on the same houses 20 years ago.
I am not happy that the ACT Chief Minister has accepted a huge loan which will require an equally huge bureaucracy to run it with little likelihood of recovering any money based on this government’s track record on administering similar schemes.

Cr$p. Mr Fluffy houses are a PUBLIC health risk, that does not rest with the home owners. Next you will be saying if someone gets mesothelioma then they should be suing the home owners.

Comparing the siting of your house to Mr Fluffy homes is irrelevant and is quite disrespectful despite your first line saying with all respect.

Besides even those that knew they lived in Mr Fluffy homes would not have expected there to be any residue left over. Considering they were ‘cleaned’ in the late 80’s early 90’s.

As for the political aspects of this, this is very much a federal responsibility. It was THEIR program that has failed, so they should remedy this. Though blaming Gallagher is a bit low, considering the ponce that is in charge up on Capital Hill. Trying to negotiate with that lot would be like trying to pull teeth.

Sure some will think of this as some great winfall but others will be loosing homes they love and will be forced to move elsewhere. And no I don’t own one and I don’t know anyone who does.

Can anyone guarantee that even if the said homes are demolished there will be not one asbestos fibre left on the site?
At the risk of you overreacting again in response, how many people do you know that live in Mr Fluffy homes have contracted mesothelioma? I know that there have been a few reports of this but I know people who have never lived in/near one of these homes or an identified asbestos source who have contracted mesothelioma.
If it were the “public health” issue that you say it is then at least 1,000 families would have contracted it by now.
Regarding your disguised “blame Abbott” comment, more people have died from Rudd’s roof insulation fiasco that the Mr Fluffy issue.

JC said “…And no I don’t own one and I don’t know anyone who does.”

Don’t be too sure. Many Mr Fluffy homeowners have gone to ground over this. They have been made to feel like lepers. People have stopped or have been stopped from visiting fluffy homes, fluffy children even have been ostracised by their friends. Only a courageous few have gone public over their disaster, or have been forced to go public when they had to flee their home. Everyone should be looking for the person or family who has gone quiet or has withdrawn in recent months. They all need support – even if it is only sympathy and help – at least to combat some of the ignorant views by many ill informed people.

“….My grandparents had their home compulsory acquired in the 70?s to build Eraring power station near Lake Macquarie, they money they were offered was not enough to allow them to buy elsewhere. I don’t see the same happening here, but no doubts there will be lots of arguments over how much a property will be worth.”

The methodology is now on the taskforce website. I doubt anyone will make a windfall gain out of this. Many homeowners – through love of their home and an intention to stay for the long term – most likely have over capitalised. Many are already posting on the FORAG facebook page that they won’t be able to afford to stay in their current area.

And unlike other compulsory acquisitions, a lot of homeowners will lose some or all of their contents. There is no insurance, very limited if any compensation and no buyback for contents. In most cases, even people affected by natural disaster can replace some contents through insurance.

TheWolf said :

This morning my elderly neghbours with a fluffy house said the 1 billion will fund low intetest loans for the fluffy owners to sell up and buy new houses. So that’s not ‘free’ at all.

Your neighbour is mistaken. It will allow the government to acquire THEIR home, for the government to bulldoze the house, clean the land and onsell said land.

The big issue is what price will be paid for these houses. My grandparents had their home compulsory acquired in the 70’s to build Eraring power station near Lake Macquarie, they money they were offered was not enough to allow them to buy elsewhere. I don’t see the same happening here, but no doubts there will be lots of arguments over how much a property will be worth.

dungfungus said :

With the greatest respect, the Mr Fluffy problem is solely the problem of the home owners concerned.
It is plain “bad luck” that they find themselves in this position and they should sort it out themselves without any financial assistance from taxpayers.
As someone else has pointed out on this thread the Mr Fluffy debacle is not a natural disaster and accordingly does not warrant any governmental financial assistance.
I don’t like the way my house is sited according to where the sun shines so does this entitle me to get the taxpayer to build me a new house? Of course it doesn’t.
If you insist on apportioning liability onto a government entity you should direct your ire to the ACT Government that botched the “free” asbestos removal job on the same houses 20 years ago.
I am not happy that the ACT Chief Minister has accepted a huge loan which will require an equally huge bureaucracy to run it with little likelihood of recovering any money based on this government’s track record on administering similar schemes.

Cr$p. Mr Fluffy houses are a PUBLIC health risk, that does not rest with the home owners. Next you will be saying if someone gets mesothelioma then they should be suing the home owners.

Comparing the siting of your house to Mr Fluffy homes is irrelevant and is quite disrespectful despite your first line saying with all respect.

Besides even those that knew they lived in Mr Fluffy homes would not have expected there to be any residue left over. Considering they were ‘cleaned’ in the late 80’s early 90’s.

As for the political aspects of this, this is very much a federal responsibility. It was THEIR program that has failed, so they should remedy this. Though blaming Gallagher is a bit low, considering the ponce that is in charge up on Capital Hill. Trying to negotiate with that lot would be like trying to pull teeth.

Sure some will think of this as some great winfall but others will be loosing homes they love and will be forced to move elsewhere. And no I don’t own one and I don’t know anyone who does.

The Commonwealth has gotten off very lightly in this. They were responsible for the problem, made the choice to try the cheaper-but-riskier remove rather than demolish option with the clean up program (having been warned of the risk it wouldn’t work), and now the ACT Govt and ACT tax payer is on the hook for $300m to fix this? Not to mention offering no solution for the NSW cases. Poor form.

rommeldog56 – I agree with everything that you have written – especially that the ACT Government has mishandled this issue for the last couple of decades and especially the last ten years. I had thought you were referring to the Commonwealth’s walking away from their implicit obligations in allowing the use of loose fill asbestos, the setting up of the first removal program and any residual liability when passing responsibility on the ACT Government when it was created.

As for the man made vs natural disasters, I agree with you on this also. I’m sure others can think of equivalent scale man made scenarios but I can’t. I bet though that the outcome would have been different if this had occurred in central or North shore Sydney.

dungfungus – I agree that it has turned out to be bad luck for the affected homeowners and tenants. In the ACT though, most of these people have been caught up in this solely because of poor or no information from the ACT Government as to the contamination – despite their becoming increasingly aware of how far this contamination went.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back8:56 am 29 Oct 14

TheWolf said :

This morning my elderly neghbours with a fluffy house said the 1 billion will fund low intetest loans for the fluffy owners to sell up and buy new houses. So that’s not ‘free’ at all.

It’s also not correct at all.

Tezza7420 said :

rommeldog56 said :

Whilst I am happy for the affected homeowners, the acceptance of this “offer” by the Fed’s once again underlines the hopeless fiscal and economic management of the current ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t.

So, let me get this right.

1) The Feds are almost certainly co-responsible for the Mr fluffy situation. I’ve heard many Lawyers say that.

2) The Feds contribution is a big loan at concessional interest rates – but that will not have much if any, adverse impact on the Federal budget situation.

3) The resultant shortfall to be made up by the ACT Gov’t – and so by ACT Ratepayers – will apparently be M$200-300.

Yeah. Sounds like a great deal for the ACT to me Katy !

How are u going to fund the shortfall ?

Increase Annual Rates and all other ACT Gov’t charges even more than you already are ?

Declare how much those increases will be then. Come to think of it, the Annual Rates increases are more like a bottomless pit I suppose – so why not !

If the Feds are co responsible – why doesn’t the ACT gov’t reject that offer and fund a class action against the Fed’s by Mr Fluffy affected homeowners ?

This is not a good outcome for ACT Ratepayers.

And good luck to affected homeowners in “negotiating” a market price for their affected homes.

This buyback is likely to be a festering sore for years to come.

It’s just far too easy for this ACT Gov’t to roll over on issues nowdays and/or make poor fiscal decisions and pass the costs onto all ACT Ratepayers, I’m afraid. Groan…….

Do you really think that a Liberal Federal Government was going to provide any assistance to the ACT over this if at all possible? Many Fluffy families are suffering severe financial and psychological hardships over this issue and it is impossible for anyone to move on with their lives without incurring massive financial losses. I very much doubt that the ACT Government would have gained any ground if they had made Fluffy owners hold out for another year for what would have been the same outcome.

Personally, I think it’s disgusting that the Federal Government is not contributing towards this disaster. Other Governments have helped homeowners affected by fire and floods – including people who were insured – and have taxed the nation accordingly. Fluffy owners in the ACT and elsewhere though will get no such national assistance.

With the greatest respect, the Mr Fluffy problem is solely the problem of the home owners concerned.
It is plain “bad luck” that they find themselves in this position and they should sort it out themselves without any financial assistance from taxpayers.
As someone else has pointed out on this thread the Mr Fluffy debacle is not a natural disaster and accordingly does not warrant any governmental financial assistance.
I don’t like the way my house is sited according to where the sun shines so does this entitle me to get the taxpayer to build me a new house? Of course it doesn’t.
If you insist on apportioning liability onto a government entity you should direct your ire to the ACT Government that botched the “free” asbestos removal job on the same houses 20 years ago.
I am not happy that the ACT Chief Minister has accepted a huge loan which will require an equally huge bureaucracy to run it with little likelihood of recovering any money based on this government’s track record on administering similar schemes.

This morning my elderly neghbours with a fluffy house said the 1 billion will fund low intetest loans for the fluffy owners to sell up and buy new houses. So that’s not ‘free’ at all.

If one good thing can come out of the Mr Fluffy mess, please let it be that light rail is now given the flick and those funds be diverted to cover the Commonwealth shortfall. There is no way known that we can fund both of these huge financial commitments simultaneously over the next 10 years!

Tezza7420 said :

rommeldog56 said :

Whilst I am happy for the affected homeowners, the acceptance of this “offer” by the Fed’s once again underlines the hopeless fiscal and economic management of the current ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t.

So, let me get this right.

1) The Feds are almost certainly co-responsible for the Mr fluffy situation. I’ve heard many Lawyers say that.

2) The Feds contribution is a big loan at concessional interest rates – but that will not have much if any, adverse impact on the Federal budget situation.

3) The resultant shortfall to be made up by the ACT Gov’t – and so by ACT Ratepayers – will apparently be M$200-300.

Yeah. Sounds like a great deal for the ACT to me Katy !

How are u going to fund the shortfall ?

Increase Annual Rates and all other ACT Gov’t charges even more than you already are ?

Declare how much those increases will be then. Come to think of it, the Annual Rates increases are more like a bottomless pit I suppose – so why not !

If the Feds are co responsible – why doesn’t the ACT gov’t reject that offer and fund a class action against the Fed’s by Mr Fluffy affected homeowners ?

This is not a good outcome for ACT Ratepayers.

And good luck to affected homeowners in “negotiating” a market price for their affected homes.

This buyback is likely to be a festering sore for years to come.

It’s just far too easy for this ACT Gov’t to roll over on issues nowdays and/or make poor fiscal decisions and pass the costs onto all ACT Ratepayers, I’m afraid. Groan…….

Do you really think that a Liberal Federal Government was going to provide any assistance to the ACT over this if at all possible? Many Fluffy families are suffering severe financial and psychological hardships over this issue and it is impossible for anyone to move on with their lives without incurring massive financial losses. I very much doubt that the ACT Government would have gained any ground if they had made Fluffy owners hold out for another year for what would have been the same outcome.

Personally, I think it’s disgusting that the Federal Government is not contributing towards this disaster. Other Governments have helped homeowners affected by fire and floods – including people who were insured – and have taxed the nation accordingly. Fluffy owners in the ACT and elsewhere though will get no such national assistance.

Tezza7420 :

1) Given that it happened during the reign of the Feds over Canberra, then yes – I thought that the deal would be much better than we got. Given that it was a lay down mizare that the feds are responsible – I stunned disgusted at the piss poor deal that the ACT Govt got on behalf of all ACT Ratepayers.

2) Fire and floods are natural disasters. The Mr fluffy disaster is man made – aided and abetted by the Feds at that time.

As i recall, the current ACT Chief Minister, in an earlier role in a past ACT Labor Gov’t, recveived reports about the asbestos threat, but little action was taken I think. I wonder if that inaction would have played into the Feds hands re assessing liability and hence, the settlement released today.

rommeldog56 said :

Whilst I am happy for the affected homeowners, the acceptance of this “offer” by the Fed’s once again underlines the hopeless fiscal and economic management of the current ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t.

So, let me get this right.

1) The Feds are almost certainly co-responsible for the Mr fluffy situation. I’ve heard many Lawyers say that.

2) The Feds contribution is a big loan at concessional interest rates – but that will not have much if any, adverse impact on the Federal budget situation.

3) The resultant shortfall to be made up by the ACT Gov’t – and so by ACT Ratepayers – will apparently be M$200-300.

Yeah. Sounds like a great deal for the ACT to me Katy !

How are u going to fund the shortfall ?

Increase Annual Rates and all other ACT Gov’t charges even more than you already are ?

Declare how much those increases will be then. Come to think of it, the Annual Rates increases are more like a bottomless pit I suppose – so why not !

If the Feds are co responsible – why doesn’t the ACT gov’t reject that offer and fund a class action against the Fed’s by Mr Fluffy affected homeowners ?

This is not a good outcome for ACT Ratepayers.

And good luck to affected homeowners in “negotiating” a market price for their affected homes.

This buyback is likely to be a festering sore for years to come.

It’s just far too easy for this ACT Gov’t to roll over on issues nowdays and/or make poor fiscal decisions and pass the costs onto all ACT Ratepayers, I’m afraid. Groan…….

Do you really think that a Liberal Federal Government was going to provide any assistance to the ACT over this if at all possible? Many Fluffy families are suffering severe financial and psychological hardships over this issue and it is impossible for anyone to move on with their lives without incurring massive financial losses. I very much doubt that the ACT Government would have gained any ground if they had made Fluffy owners hold out for another year for what would have been the same outcome.

Personally, I think it’s disgusting that the Federal Government is not contributing towards this disaster. Other Governments have helped homeowners affected by fire and floods – including people who were insured – and have taxed the nation accordingly. Fluffy owners in the ACT and elsewhere though will get no such national assistance.

HenryBG said :

My relative lives in Mr Fluffy a house. She is right now laughing her head off at her good luck. She was about to spend over half a million knocking down some walls and modernising it. Now she has it done for her for free by the suckers.

How are you able to be so naive! I’m starting to think that you’re relative is fictitious or has no idea what is coming for them. Equally though, if they have $500k to chuck at “renovations”, they are not a typical fluffy owner.

I doubt that any well informed fluffy owner is thrilled with this outcome. (Many will be relieved that there is a way out of this mess but it is certainly not a windfall). They will get average market value for their property – which they will have to give up. If they want to try to buy back half (or less) of their now empty block, they will have to find alternative accommodation for a year or so during the demolition, remediation, planning and rebuilding process, and come up with the money for their rebuild. More likely, most will simply move away or try to buy something in the same area in what will be an increasingly competitive market. It is not clear what will happen to contents in houses or whether people will be compensated for moving costs and legal costs – although, if they buy in the ACT, they will get exemption from ever decreasing stamp duties.

I have read many ill informed posts by you on this Fluffy issue. The only time I have responded explaining why you are incorrect, you stopped posting. No doubt you will do the same this time as well – or is this observation sufficient bait for you to continue to embarrass yourself?

wildturkeycanoe8:55 pm 28 Oct 14

watto23 said :

I’m trying to work out why each house will cost a million to knock down and rebuild. I mean it seems a lot to me. A lot of the cost is in the land purchase for a new home and allowing for cleanups etc, I’d have thought $500k each a fair amount.

Most of the money will go into the labor costs of the asbestos removal companies. There are only so many people qualified to do it and it isn’t cheap when you consider not only the time, materials and skills to do the job safely, but the costs of disposing of the material.
Imagine the houses were contaminated not with asbestos, but nuclear radioactive waste. How do you get rid of it quickly, safely and cheaply? You don’t. That’s why asbestos is such a bad naturally occurring mineral and should have never been used for anything at all.

watto23 said :

I’m trying to work out why each house will cost a million to knock down and rebuild. I mean it seems a lot to me. A lot of the cost is in the land purchase for a new home and allowing for cleanups etc, I’d have thought $500k each a fair amount.

I’d be curious as well what will be built to replace a property, knocked down. A similar sized place or a bigger one? I don’t begrudge the people who lived in these places getting something, just not sure what is fair and what isn’t.

Also a loan from the feds sounds like they are getting off lightly when it was mostly their fault IMO. The lack of action lies on both but the removal was a federal exercise and it was done poorly.

its the cost for buying the houses and the cleanup, so say $600k per house to buy and $400k for full demolition and remediation. Sounds about right.

The government will then sell the empty land with first option given to the previous owners.

I’m trying to work out why each house will cost a million to knock down and rebuild. I mean it seems a lot to me. A lot of the cost is in the land purchase for a new home and allowing for cleanups etc, I’d have thought $500k each a fair amount.

I’d be curious as well what will be built to replace a property, knocked down. A similar sized place or a bigger one? I don’t begrudge the people who lived in these places getting something, just not sure what is fair and what isn’t.

Also a loan from the feds sounds like they are getting off lightly when it was mostly their fault IMO. The lack of action lies on both but the removal was a federal exercise and it was done poorly.

My relative lives in Mr Fluffy a house. She is right now laughing her head off at her good luck. She was about to spend over half a million knocking down some walls and modernising it. Now she has it done for her for free by the suckers.

And this is the reason some of us pay so much in so many different taxes – we have this ridiculous, bloated toad of a government that insists on sloshing taxpayer dollars around on wasteful exercises such as this one.

Instead of wasting a billion dollars on giving a very small number of people a sudden windfall profit, they could give every Canberra household free electricity for 2 and a half years.

It’s moments like this I want to join the teaparty.

Whilst I am happy for the affected homeowners, the acceptance of this “offer” by the Fed’s once again underlines the hopeless fiscal and economic management of the current ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t.

So, let me get this right.

1) The Feds are almost certainly co-responsible for the Mr fluffy situation. I’ve heard many Lawyers say that.

2) The Feds contribution is a big loan at concessional interest rates – but that will not have much if any, adverse impact on the Federal budget situation.

3) The resultant shortfall to be made up by the ACT Gov’t – and so by ACT Ratepayers – will apparently be M$200-300.

Yeah. Sounds like a great deal for the ACT to me Katy ! How are u going to fund the shortfall ? Increase Annual Rates and all other ACT Gov’t charges even more than you already are ? Declare how much those increases will be then. Come to think of it, the Annual Rates increases are more like a bottomless pit I suppose – so why not !

If the Feds are co responsible – why doesn’t the ACT gov’t reject that offer and fund a class action against the Fed’s by Mr Fluffy affected homeowners ?

This is not a good outcome for ACT Ratepayers.

And good luck to affected homeowners in “negotiating” a market price for their affected homes. This buyback is likely to be a festering sore for years to come.

It’s just far too easy for this ACT Gov’t to roll over on issues nowdays and/or make poor fiscal decisions and pass the costs onto all ACT Ratepayers, I’m afraid. Groan…….

HiddenDragon5:44 pm 28 Oct 14

Aside from anything else, this will create quite a lot of work around the town, thus diminishing the case for pump-priming projects which are otherwise of questionable value. Commonwealth assistance in the form of a concessional loan will, hopefully, underline this and point in the direction of fiscal sobriety.

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