While Mr Fluffy houses are spread throughout the city, one trend clear in today's list of addresses is the concentrations of houses in some streets and pockets of some suburbs.
"Mr Fluffy" Dirk Jansen ceased work in about 1979, so the suburbs developed since then – southern Tuggeranong, Gungahlin and the newer parts of Weston – are free of the asbestos insulation.
Some suburbs and streets, though, will be transformed by the mass demolition about to begin.
Hawker Street in Torrens has more Fluffy houses than any other, with nine homes on the list.
Twelve streets contain six or more Fluffy houses:
- Badimara Street, Fisher;
- Bainton Crescent, Melba;
- Buvelot Street, Weston;
- Darwinia Terrace, Chapman;
- Dixon Drive, Duffy;
- Hawker Street, Torrens;
- Jefferis Street, Torrens;
- Julius Street, Pearce;
- Kalgoorlie Crescent, Fisher;
- Macfarland Crescent, Chifley;
- Osburn Drive, Macgregor;
- Southern Cross Drive, Latham
Forty-five streets have at least four Fluffy houses and will feel the effects of the demolition more keenly than many other areas. The picture is compounded when you consider blocks of streets where houses back on to each other, such as Derwent Street and Olympus Way in Lyons.
The Asbestos Taskforce says affected homes are grouped because of the way Mr Jansen was believed to have gone door to door offering what was a cheap and quickly installed product and offering group discounts for blocks of houses to sign up.
Gabrielle Sheen, a resident of Julius Street, in Pearce, where Mr Jansen's brother was believed to have lived, recalled her parents discussing the neighbours' decision to install the insulation in the 1970s. Her father, aware of the dangers, refused outright.
The suburb Kambah has the most Fluffy homes by far, with 102 Mr Fluffy homes, 10 per cent of the total of 1022. But taken as a proportion of the large suburb, the impact on Kambah won't be as great as other suburbs. Just under 2 per cent, or one in 53 free-standing Kambah houses, are affected.
The worst affected suburbs are Lyons, Pearce and Torrens, three Woden suburbs in a row with 99 contaminated houses between them. In Pearce about one in 20 houses (5 per cent of the suburb) is on the Mr Fluffy demolition list. In Lyons and Torrens, about one in 25 homes are contaminated.
In the inner north, Hackett is the worst affected suburb, with 29 Mr Fluffy Houses, 3 per cent of the suburb's houses. In the inner south, Yarralumla has 15 Mr Fluffy houses, just under 2 per cent of the suburb's houses. The Fluffy scourge touches some of the city's most prestigious addresses, with homes in Arthur Circle, Dominion Circuit, La Perouse Street, Jansz Crescent and others in Forrest and Red Hill to be demolished, and a home in Coranderrk Street and another in Euree Street, Reid, also on the list.
With the first house, in Wanniassa, expected to be demolished on Friday, July 3, or Monday, July 6, the Asbestos Taskforce head Andrew Kefford said he was very conscious of the impact on neighbours and was in close contact with them as houses were surrendered, to ensure vacant houses were secure and to minimise disruption during demolition.
The aim was to demolish homes in neighbourhood groups to avoid coming back five or six times to one street.
Neighbours were also helping ensure the security of homes, with one neighbour already alerting the SES when she heard the plastic sheeting on a pergola in Charnwood come loose. The SES and fire service both have an alert system for Mr Fluffy addresses which had been activated when the neighbour called, showing the system was working, Mr Kefford said.
People seeking information from the Asbestos Response Taskforce can use these contacts:
People who are anxious or concerned can access support through their GP, ACT Medicare Local on 6287 8066, Lifeline (13 11 14) and Beyond Blue (1300 224 636).