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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 6 Hansard (3 Junes) . . Page.. 1665..


MR CORBELL: Yes, it did. There is no doubt, and it has subsequently been confirmed in correspondence I have received from the new relevant federal minister. We are in a situation where both sides of politics federally are dudding the ACT, and it is not acceptable. What it means is that ACT ratepayers are picking up the tab and ACT building owners are picking up the tab for the provision of fire services to the commonwealth. That is not appropriate, in our view, and we have sought review and reconsideration of that matter both with the previous federal government and with the current federal government. Neither has been willing to accept such considerations.

So, regrettably, it is the case that the choice is between not providing fire cover to the necessary level to important national institutions like Parliament House, the National Library, the Australian War Memorial and so on, or having to make up the shortfall. Clearly, one is a responsible course of action and one is not, and the government is putting in place the necessary measures to ensure that fire cover is maintained.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, why did you sign this MOU if it would lead to a funding decrease for the ACT?

MR CORBELL: Because the alternative was no funding from the commonwealth.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, what alarm and development fees will be affected by this government initiative, and by how much?

MR CORBELL: The details will be outlined by the Treasurer when he presents the budget papers, I understand.

Asbestos—management issues

MR SMYTH: My question is to the minister for workplace safety. Minister, can you update the Assembly on the latest developments regarding Mr Fluffy asbestos homes and what the government has been doing?

MR CORBELL: The government is undertaking and maintaining a very proactive response to the range of issues associated with remnant loose-fill amosite asbestos, or the Mr Fluffy homes, as they are more commonly known. The government has maintained a communication program with householders, reminding them of the potential issues that still remain in relation to their properties, despite the fact that they were part of the loose-fill removal program in the early 1990s.

It has always been the case that that program was only ever intended to remove visible and accessible loose-fill asbestos from those properties and that there was always a risk that remnant loose-fill asbestos may remain, particularly in inaccessible areas of


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