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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 March 2015) . . Page.. 1158 ..

I am pleased to advise the Assembly that to date Housing ACT has relocated three tenants to new homes that meet their needs and their family circumstances. Housing ACT is working with the remaining two tenants, and a new home has been accepted by one. Work is in progress to modify the property to meet the needs of this tenant. The remaining tenant has special needs requiring specific property modifications, and Housing ACT is continuing to work with this tenant to identify suitable properties.

Once vacated, the five Housing ACT properties that contain Mr Fluffy asbestos will be demolished and the land returned to Housing ACT. On return of the land, Housing ACT will make a decision on its future use. The demolition of the buildings will be managed by the asbestos task force and the demolition process overseen by WorkSafe officials.

While the vacant properties are awaiting demolition, Housing ACT has secured and fenced off the properties with temporary fencing. Spotless has changed the locks and screwed shut all the doors and windows, and any items of value—for example, stoves, sinks, copper et cetera—inside the property have been marked with an industrial strength paint.

Finally, I would like to touch on the government’s housing renewal program. The government recently announced an extensive renewal program for public housing in the ACT. This program will replace a lot of our ageing public housing dwellings, starting with 1,288 flats built in the early days of Canberra as temporary accommodation for newly arrived public servants. These dwellings simply do not meet the needs of today’s public housing tenants. Given the age of the properties on the list for demolition and replacement—they were all built before 1989—I expect that these properties may contain some form of asbestos.

The sites will be transferred to the LDA for sale, including demolition as needed. The LDA will undertake testing and implement management procedures to ensure that any asbestos was appropriately managed during the demolition process. I can assure members of the Assembly that all planning, environment and work health and safety controls will be followed in the management of any asbestos contained in these properties.

Asbestos management is an important issue, and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to outline how Housing ACT manages this matter. I look forward to continuing to update members of the Assembly on social housing matters as the government’s renewal program rolls out over coming years. I commend my amendment to Ms Lawder’s motion to the Assembly.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.01): I will speak only briefly on this matter today in support of Ms Berry’s comprehensive amendment. I must be honest: when I read this motion on the notice paper I thought it was in the wrong section of the notice paper and that it should have been in the questions on notice section, because that is essentially what it is.

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