Page 1159 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2015
With respect to the substance of the motion and the amendment, however, can I say that the ACT government and Housing ACT have spent considerable time working through the issues Ms Lawder raises and that these considerations began long before today.
Housing ACT maintains well over 10,000 properties, with approximately 22,000 tenants. I certainly know that, when it comes to Mr Fluffy properties, Housing ACT responded quickly once the full scale of the Mr Fluffy problem became known. As Ms Berry’s amendment notes, it was established early on that only five properties contained the loose-fill asbestos that we call Mr Fluffy, and actions were taken immediately to work with the affected tenants. The government continues to work closely with affected tenants, home owners and support agencies, and will continue to do so. That is something that obviously will be discussed further in this place. Housing ACT tenants have certainly been spoken to in great detail about this and have been made fully aware of the situation.
Minister Berry, of course, is better placed, as the current Minister for Housing, to talk through these issues in more depth, and she has done that today in her remarks, as well as in the amendment that she has put forward. I will be supporting Ms Berry’s amendment, as I think it goes to the very questions that Ms Lawder has raised. If there are further questions, they should probably be put as questions on notice. That is probably the way to resolve some of these questions. It is not that we should not talk about this in the Assembly, but I was intrigued by the format in which this came forward.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (5.03): I too will speak very briefly in relation to the question on notice that has been put on as private members’ business today. I would refer Ms Lawder to the 25-minute ministerial statement I gave earlier in the week, which will give her information on most of the questions that she is seeking answers to.
It is worth noting that the task force is working closely with Housing ACT to support the five tenants that are directly affected by Mr Fluffy. There are, as Ms Berry’s amendment outlines, five Housing ACT properties impacted by Mr Fluffy. These properties are spread broadly across Canberra. In fact it would be hard to spread them more broadly. There is one each in Tuggeranong, Weston, Belconnen, the inner north and the inner south.
That said, Mr Fluffy is a problem that spans the entire city, and there are 1,021 properties that are known to be affected. So five of the 1,021 are public housing properties. They are in five different suburbs, but of course there are 58 suburbs that have houses that have Mr Fluffy loose-fill asbestos in them.
Having made those points, I acknowledge the amendment from Ms Berry that I think covers off on all of the issues that Ms Lawder has raised. I thank Mr Rattenbury for his contribution and ask that the Assembly support Ms Berry’s amendment.