I have noticed in the media lately that there is unfair criticism of the Chief Minister in this saga.
Everyone in Canberra has sympathy for those poor folks who are being displaced because of the dangers, and they are real dangers, of contracting mesothelioma. That is a given. And they are entitled to know why something more positive hasn’t been done for them.
But let’s get this issue of responsibility right before doing trial by media. The Chief Minister has said that if she had known then what she knows now, people would have been informed more quickly.
She has taken responsibility for the lack of timely information to residents.
OK. But does she have to bear the responsibility of the cause? All the earlier release of this information would have achieved is the identification of the size of the problem earlier and maybe the prevention of house sales to the uninformed.
The responsibility for this issue rests with the governance of the Territory at the time Mr Fluffy was doing his work. The federal Government! The ACT came into existence in 1989.
Where is their expression of responsibility? Where is their guarantee that the homes will be treated, demolished or whatever?
Where is the guarantee that the cost will be borne by the jurisdiction in place at the time of the work?
Missing in action, that’s what!
If there are 1000 houses (and there are more but this figure is used for the ease of calculation) and each is bought so that the residents can have another home but a safe one, it will cost 1000 x $500,000 approximately. This is $500,000,000! That is $500 million! No wonder the feds don’t want to cough up!
Do you think the taxpayers of the ACT should pay for the fault of the federal government agencies before it was born?
Let us stop bagging the Chief Minister and support her in her endeavours to get justice for these people from those whose decisions it was which allowed this to happen.
And for those who accuse me of blindly pushing Labor’s cause, I acknowledge that it was a federal Labor government at the time, but a federal government it was and out of federal coffers should come the money for the solution.
But their generosity in this type of stuff is not evident and indeed the opposite is the case. Check out their response over contaminated sites across the ACT and their lack of support in the clean-up.