Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2021) . . Page.. 2025 ..
task force also shares the burden of this effort. The task force continues to work with a small number of remaining households.
Sitting beside the work of the task force has been the Community and Expert Reference Group. Since 2014, the reference group has provided the task force with independent expertise, feedback and advice on the scheme’s operation, evolving needs and emerging issues. I thank the reference group for their invaluable input to me and previous ministers. Much of their work has been in supporting the human elements of this scheme—ensuring that there was consideration given to health impacts, how to reflect and remark on this event in our history, and how to ensure that there is good information contained in public services once the bulk of the work has been done. I look forward to the continuing work of both the task force and the reference group as they continue their work over the next year.
The buyback program, a program available under the scheme, provides for the government to offer to buy all residential properties affected by loose-fill asbestos insulation in the ACT, once the affected property has been added to the Affected Residential Premises Register. The program is voluntary to home owners and provides home owners with options other than private demolition, suited to their individual circumstances.
As the buyback program is set to close on 17 August 2021, the bill supports the eradication of loose-fill asbestos insulation from any newly identified affected properties beyond the closure of the buyback program. These home owners will be in the same position to access the government’s offer to buy their affected property once it has been added to the register.
Noting that the same potential risk to occupants and the community exists from any affected property that is yet to identified, providing a comparable buyback option after 17 August 2021 is considered appropriate. To not offer this option for properties identified later is inconsistent with the government’s commitment to eradicate loose-fill asbestos insulation from Canberra homes.
The management of affected properties identified in future years is important not only to support community safety by limiting exposure risk but to maintain consistency in responding to new finds as well as to support efficient government processes.
The effect of the bill amends the definition of “buyback scheme” within the Civil Law (Sales of Residential Property) Act 2003, the Dangerous Substances Act 2004, the Government Agencies (Land Acquisition Reporting) Regulation 2019, and the definition of “loose-fill asbestos insulation eradication buyback program” in the Planning and Development Regulation 2008, so that these definitions no longer refer to the Appropriation (Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication) Act 2014-2015.
From 18 August 2021, all financial and budget implications for any newly identified affected property that participates in the scheme will be funded through existing budgetary mechanisms. By providing that the funding arrangements are no longer associated with the appropriation act, the bill supports the continuation of the scheme for affected properties identified after 17 August 2021. In addition to the new