Right now there are tens of thousands of Canberrans facing a world of uncertainty because they live in, have lived in or have worked in a Mr Fluffy home.
I’ve spoken to dozens of Canberra families over the last few months who have all expressed the same concerns: the fear that they are facing financial ruin because their greatest investment can’t be sold, the anguish over the long-term health concerns for their friends and families, and the lingering uncertainty over what will happen next.
I want to assure these families that their political leaders are listening, and working hard behind the scenes to try and achieve a result.
Last month I organised a meeting with the Commonwealth Minister responsible for asbestos Senator Eric Abetz, the founder of the Fluffy Residents Action Group Brianna Hesletine, and ACT federal representatives to discuss the issue.
Senator Abetz was impressed with our bipartisan approach and listened intently to Brianna, who eloquently told the powerful and personal stories of those living in a Mr Fluffy home.
The Commonwealth Government is working with the ACT Government assess the full scope of the Mr Fluffy problem.
I know there are some people who might be frustrated with the time this is taking, but it is important that we get the response right. We simply cannot afford to get it wrong again.
I have been impressed with the support affected families are showing to one another, and the support being shown by the wider Canberra community.
We will get through this crisis, and we will be a stronger community because of it.
Published in the Canberra Chronicle, August 2014