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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 March 2015) . . Page.. 764 ..

asbestos and provide a copy of the asbestos assessment report on the home where necessary.

In considering the implications of the bill, members should understand that protecting workers today will reduce the health impacts of asbestos in the years to come. The federal government publication, Asbestos: A Guide for Householders and the General Public states that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres. Our focus must therefore be on preventing this exposure as this is the only true means of preventing asbestos-related diseases.

Recent decisions taken by the government should put beyond doubt our commitment to minimising as far as possible the risks of asbestos exposure in the community. I strongly support the passage of this bill as it will assist in protecting the safety of those of us who live and work in the Canberra community. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (5.12), in reply: I thank members for their contributions to the debate and conclude the debate by again stating very clearly the ACT government’s commitment to providing an enduring solution to the Mr Fluffy legacy through the loose-fill asbestos insulation eradication scheme. The scheme enables the owners of affected houses to sell their properties to the territory, which will then allow us to safely demolish them and resell the vacant blocks.

This bill, as previous speakers have indicated, seeks to minimise the stress placed on affected home owners and ensure an effective process by streamlining the purchase of affected properties through the buyback program component of the scheme. It also seeks to amend a number of existing acts in order to remove red tape and unnecessary procedure. This is done in recognition that affected home owners and families need to recover and to be able to move on as quickly as possible.

Through amendments to the Dangerous Substances Act 2004, the bill provides for a register of affected residential premises. Having such a register in place will help in the administration and with the processes surrounding Mr Fluffy homes following the close of the government’s buyback program. It will also facilitate the longer term management of properties where owners choose not to participate in the buyback program.

The amendments provide that the minister may make the register of affected residential premises publicly available. I am aware a number of historical and inaccurate versions of the list of affected houses are already in circulation. The register being publicly available as the official list will enable people to make informed decisions about buying or renting a property. It will also enable tradespeople to find out whether they have previously worked on a Mr Fluffy residence and have potentially been exposed to loose-fill asbestos insulation fibres.

Where people are renting a property that is a Mr Fluffy residence, amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 will allow them to terminate their tenancy agreement

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