30 Jun 2015

The NSW Government has announced a voluntary purchase and demolition program for all NSW residential property owners with positive results for loose-fill asbestos insulation.

In April the Loose-Fill Asbestos Fact Sheet was released.  Estate Agents Co-operative worked closely with NSW Fair Trading and NSW Work Cover to produce a document that made clear all the responsibilities of all parties in dealing with properties possibly affected by Loose-Fill Asbestos.

EAC continues to work with NSW Government departments to ensure that members voices are heard, and to ensure that all agents and property managers questions on compliance are answered.  Which is reflected in EAC providing Loose-Fill Asbestos information and procedures as part of our CPD classes.

The demolition program is in response to the findings of the Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Taskforce, headed by former Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens, which has submitted its Final Report to the NSW Government.

Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Dominic Perrottet said the Government had considered the report and accepted all of the Taskforce’s 13 recommendations.

“Ensuring the health and safety of NSW residents is our top priority,” Mr Perrottet said. “This package will provide safety, certainty and support for our citizens and an enduring solution to the problem of loose-fill asbestos insulation.”

The voluntary purchase/demolition program will offer eligible homeowners a choice of actions – a NSW Government purchase of premises and land or a NSW Government purchase of the premises only.

Please click here to see the NSW Government Voluntary Purchase/Demolition Program Fact Sheet.

The program follows on from the Make Safe Assistance package announced in December last year.

Mr Perrottet said the Government would now establish a new Loose-Fill Asbestos Implementation Taskforce (LFAI) to oversee and implement the program, supported by a number of legislative changes. These will include establishing a public register of affected properties, introducing mandatory hazard labeling and identifying affected properties on planning certificates.

“NSW Fair Trading will establish and oversee the (LFAI) Taskforce, which will be able to scale up or down dependent on the number properties identified in NSW,” said Mr Perrottet. “At this stage, 66 properties have been positively identified in NSW – 57 from historical records and 9 from sample testing.”

Member for Monaro John Barilaro also welcomed the announcement.

“This government has acted firmly and decisively to protect and support residents affected by loose-fill asbestos insulation, many of whom live in Queanbeyan,” he said.

“This will give them choice and allow them to properly plan for the future.”

Mr Perrottet said the NSW Government would be extending the free sample testing program across the 26 Local Government Areas until 1 August 2016. The free testing is only available initially to the listed 26 Local Government Areas but it would be expanded if there are positive results in LGAs outside the original list.

The LFAI Taskforce will be in place until all properties registered by 1 August 2016 have been demolished and the soil remediated under the scheme.

Access to the FREE  Agency Practice Helpline is only one of the great privileges available to EAC Members, click here to find out more about EAC Membership .  Please call 1300 137 161, for the very best expert advice on issues affecting day-to-day agency practice, including Asbestos.

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