The founder of the Fluffy Owners and Residents' Action Group, Brianna Heseltine, said recriminations over who knew what about Mr Fluffy asbestos must not distract politicians from finding a solution to the health and financial crisis facing more than 1000 owners.
Ms Heseltine said the history of Mr Fluffy knowledge and understanding by the ACT and federal governments was "long and intractable" and involved a succession of politicians from across the political divide who probably did not appreciate the full ramifications of the deadly insulation.
"The problems posed by our homes are as complex as it gets. Politicians could be forgiven for freezing like deers in the headlights in the face of two dozen competing high priorities if that is ever what has happened," she said in response to ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher's lack of specific warnings to householders over the past nine years as the relevant minister and chief minister.
"I think it's crucial that we avoid viewing the history on this issue through the lens of our present knowledge," Ms Heseltine said.
"We need to acknowledge that until recently the ACT government was operating with limited information on our homes. Ministers get advice every day telling them they are just about to see yet another issue emerge as a priority requiring urgent attention. Who is to say this warranted greater priority at the time than another issue that also required action?
"The fact is that the information landscape changed on Mr Fluffy homes in Canberra when the ACT government sent out its 18 February letter, and hundreds of people in the Fluffy Owners and Residents' Action Group got together and discussed the need to get asbestos assessments to find out if our homes were still contaminated and so posed a health risk to our families, tradespeople, tenants and the broader community.
"Those reports came back and painted a worrying picture, so we took those findings to the ACT and Commonwealth governments and asked for help.
"I applaud both levels of government for hearing our call and for their commitment to work together to respond."
However, Ms Heseltine described as inexcusable the past lack of help for Queanbeyan and other NSW residents affected by Mr Fluffy. They were never assisted in the $100 million federal government remediation program carried out between 1988 and 1993.