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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 March 2015) . . Page.. 760 ..

demolishing homes that do not need to be demolished, the question has to be asked: why? That is an area that needs to be explored further. Certainly, I would ask that when the government is approached by individuals in that situation there should be a fulsome response given to those individuals, and a compassionate and reasonable response.

In closing, as I said, we support the bill. There are outstanding questions. We will continue to engage with the government and with the task force to, regardless of the shape of the legislation, make sure that our constituents are properly informed and, where they have concerns, they are raised with the appropriate authorities.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.59): The Greens will support the Dangerous Substances (Loose-fill Asbestos Eradication) Legislation Amendment Bill 2015, which will help facilitate the government’s loose-fill asbestos insulation eradication scheme, or the Mr Fluffy buyback program, as it is more commonly known. It is unsurprising that a scheme as significant as this would require some amendments to the law to ensure it can operate practically for both the owners of the properties and the government.

As I have said before in this place, I support the government’s buyback program. A great deal of effort has gone into finding a solution that is both equitable and achievable. Taking action to address the Mr Fluffy legacy is vital to offer a solution to those who are affected so that they can repair, rebuild and get on with their lives, as well as to remove the toxic legacy from Canberra so that no-one else will have to endure the hardship of living in a Mr Fluffy contaminated house.

I note the remarks Mr Hanson has just made, and I share his view that we should also be looking to ensure that we do strive for flexibility. Certainly I have raised a number of matters with the task force along those lines. As they are working through this program and new circumstances are coming up, some degree of flexibility is needed, and it is a matter of trying to draw an appropriate line between flexibility and the affordability of the scheme. That will be an ongoing challenge that we need to continue to address.

The amendments in the bill will allow for the creation of a register of properties affected by Mr Fluffy contamination. Properties will be removed from the list if they are purchased and remediated by the government. It makes sense to create this formal register. It will assist with administration of the buyback scheme. Any premises listed on the register will also have this noted on the title of the land, which will mean prospective buyers will be aware of this fact.

At some stage the register may be made public. The bill allows the minister to do this. In any case, the changes to the territory plan and the demolition process conducted as part of the buyback program will make it obvious to the community which blocks had Mr Fluffy contamination. Noting that Mr Fluffy contamination poses a health risk to the broader community as well as to individual residents, there is also merit in allowing the register to become public so that members of the community will know the risk posed by certain premises.

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