UnionsACT is calling for the immediate suspension of all Mr Fluffy demolition work and contracts in light of allegations by an ex-worker that his former employer looted asbestos-tainted material from homes set for demolition.
UnionsACT and the CFMEU have called on the ACT Government to conduct an urgent inquiry into the allegations and to “initiate a criminal investigation into the contractors implicated in alleged looting, including the possibility of charges of reckless endangerment”.
The Asbestos Taskforce has referred the matter to ACT Policing.
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UnionsACT Secretary Alex White said the Government and Worksafe ACT should take urgent action to halt demolitions, suspend licenses and conduct an inquiry into how this has happened.
“We are also calling on the Government to initiate a criminal investigation into the companies involved,” he said.
“It is appalling to think that the contractors involved not only thought they could get away with looting Mr. Fluffy houses, but that they were prepared to put the community at grave risk of exposure to asbestos.”
An article in The Canberra Times today reports that material including household possessions and whitegoods was removed from Mr Fluffy properties without proper risk assessments or approval from the regulator.
Former residents of Mr Fluffy homes had in some cases been forced to leave household goods and personal items, including children’s toys, behind when they moved out due to potential contamination.
UnionsACT expressed its concern for those families, and about a potential risk of exposure for workers who may have been involved in the removal of such items from homes. It also raised concerns for anyone else who has already or may come into contact with the items subsequently.
In a statement this morning, UnionsACT called on the Asbestos Taskforce to “urgently determine the proper location of all material removed from Mr. Fluffy properties.”
“If asbestos tainted items have been looted from Mr. Fluffy houses, this would be a serious betrayal of trust by the contractors involved,” it said.