Mr Fluffy

I rise again to address the House on an issue I have spoken about before: Mr Fluffy asbestos. This is an issue causing significant concern in my electorate. Many Canberrans, up to 1,000, are living in limbo as they await the government's response.

Mr Fluffy is a type of loose-fill asbestos commonly used in the ACT in the late sixties and seventies. From 1988 to 1993, the Commonwealth removed asbestos from more than 1,000 Canberra homes and, for a while, we thought we were rid of Mr Fluffy. However, recently it was found that a number of houses that had their asbestos removed still contained residual fibres.

I have been meeting with families who have been forced to leave their homes, leave behind their children's toys, leave behind their clothes, and start from scratch. Their homes cannot be sold or rented, and, nine months after learning their homes were potentially unsafe to live in, they are still waiting for answers. I am aware of 40 families who have been forced out of their homes and are living in emergency rental accommodation. The uncertainty they are facing is placing them under extreme stress, and the sooner we find an outcome the better. In fact, on the weekend I ran into friends who have a Mr Fluffy home, and they said that the stress and strain is enormous and is placing enormous strain on their family.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Minister for Employment Senator Abetz for meeting with victims of Mr Fluffy asbestos, and I am looking forward to the government making an announcement regarding Mr Fluffy asbestos in the very, very near future.

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