ACT News


ACT asbestos taskforce investigating possible new Mr Fluffy house in Canberra

The ACT's asbestos response taskforce is investigating the possibility of another Mr Fluffy house being identified in Canberra, which could bring the total list of affected properties in the national capital to 1023.

Head of the taskforce Andrew Kefford said he was investigating the "possibility" of new Mr Fluffy house, after it had come to the taskforce's attention "within the last week".

Mr Kefford said it was "very much a live prospect", but could not say more about the status of the investigation until it had been completed.

If confirmed as a Mr Fluffy house, the building would be the seventh such house to be identified in the ACT since the original assessment was completed in 1980, bringing the total number of affected homes to 1023, 412 of which have been demolished to date.

Mr Kefford said finding more Mr Fluffy homes was "something we always said was a possibility".

"Essentially, the position since 2014 has been that we can't categorically rule out the possibility of finding more houses," he said.


"But we would advise that if people are contemplating doing any work on their houses, particularly for those houses built before the 1990s, they should seriously consider getting a professional asbestos assessment for all types of asbestos.

"The loose-fill asbestos is a particularly dangerous form of asbestos, but it's by no means the most common, and because so much of Canberra was built in the period after the Second World War, there is a higher prevalence of asbestos used as a building material."

Mr Kefford said the taskforce had also recently surpassed its aim of demolishing 350 houses this year, with 998 properties participating in the demolition and buyback scheme, 979 "accepted offers", 898 properties bought by the ACT Government.

Of the total 1022 properties identified to date, 279 properties have been "deregistered" - or completely demolished and had soil testing completed to confirm they are no longer contaminated with asbestos.

He said the taskforce was also planning another two auctions of land that formerly housed Mr Fluffy homes next week, and the government would continue to release more blocks to the end of this year.

"In parallel to that, we're working through about 314 first right of refusals for former owners to go through as well," he said.

Mr Kefford said the current estimate of the cost the ACT Government would face, after the $1 billion loan from the Commonwealth, remained at $366 million, consistent with the figure published earlier this year.