Years before the the ACT government took on a loan of $1 billion to launch a scheme to buy back and demolish houses which had been insulated with loose-fill asbestos and thought to have been cleaned, The Canberra Times reported authorities were first warned about the possible health impacts of asbestos insulation in 1968.
A government occupational-health expert suggested the use of asbestos be curtailed to essential purposes and the firm using it in homes as insulation ought to be stopped.
Phycisist G. Major warned in his report to the Health Services Branch of the then federal Department of Health - which managed the ACT's health needs before self government - that residents could be exposed to asbestos carried from roofs by air currents.
"Some thought should be given to whether [the firm] should be dissuaded or even prevented from using asbestos as insulation material in houses," he said.
Mr Major observed men undertaking insulation work, loading South African asbestos by hand into a hopper and filling the roof cavity using a plastic pipe. In his report, Mr Major noted the workers had extensive exposure to the asbestos.