March 26, 2019

Loose asbestos in house

Greater Hume general manager Steve Pinnuck.

Greater Hume general manager Steve Pinnuck.

THE NSW Privacy Act stands in the way of a loose-fill asbestos taskforce naming the town in Greater Hume Shire where a property tested positive for the deadly insulation.

The finding has prompted Greater Hume Council to encourage people with loose-fill asbestos in their roof to register for the NSW government’s free testing program.

Greater Hume general manager Steve Pinnuck said the council had been advised of the location of the house which tested positive, but could not disclose exactly whether that property was in Jindera, Culcairn, Holbrook or any other shire town.

Neighbours of the affected property have not been notified.

“The homeowner has been made aware and there is assistance available to householders in the way of short-term accommodation, as well as replacement of soft furnishings and clothing,” Mr Pinnuck said.

A NSW loose-fill asbestos insulation taskforce spokesman said the NSW Privacy Act prevented the taskforce from revealing the location.

“The taskforce is not able to confirm the location of a property without the written consent of the owner,” he said.

Early last month a house in the Berrigan Shire Council became the first property in the southern Riverina to test positive, bringing the number of affected properties in NSW to 58.

A testing program was introduced in response to problems identified with those houses where a private contractor from Canberra known as Mr Fluffy had pumped friable loose asbestos fibre into their roof between 1968 and 1980.

Most of the properties affected are in the ACT.

Mr Pinnuck said the council was surprised to be one of the 26 local government areas named as a possible location where loose-fill asbestos was installed.

“There’s been at least one property and there could be more,” he said.

The taskforce spokesman said the property in the Greater Hume Shire participated in an independent investigation into loose-fill asbestos in NSW’s free ceiling insulation testing program.

He said a free independent technical assessment by a licensed asbestos assessor would now be offered to the property owners as part of the taskforce’s “Make Safe” assistance package.

The council will work with the taskforce and provide appropriate support and assistance to the affected owner.

Anyone wanting to arrange a free sample test should phone 13 77 88.


Loose asbestos in house

Taxpayers to cover James Hardie asbestos shortfall

Taxpayers to cover James Hardie asbestos shortfall



Tim Binsted

The NSW government will extend funding to asbestos victims in case of a shortfall in funds from James Hardie

The NSW government will extend funding to asbestos victims in case of a shortfall in funds from James Hardie Photo: Bloomberg

The New South Wales government will extend further credit to the Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund to prevent victims being paid in instalments in the event payments from James Hardie Industries are insufficient to cover claims.

On Friday the NSW government said it has agreed to amend the terms of its loan facility with the AICF. The changes extend the term of the loan and allow the fund to draw down the full $320 million of the facility rather than $214 million previously stipulated.

The AICF warned last year that a spike in mesothelioma claims, the most expensive asbestos victims claims category, could force it to enter an “approved payment scheme” as of July 1.

The scheme, which would have allowed compensation to be paid to some victims in instalments rather than upfront due to a lack of funds, sparked outrage among victims groups.


View the original here – 

Taxpayers to cover James Hardie asbestos shortfall

Asbestos found in NSW home as free testing widens in Mr Fluffy saga

The first property to test positive for loose-fill asbestos as part of the NSW government’s free testing program has been identified.

The property is located within the Berrigan Shire Council area, an agricultural area in the southern Riverina – halfway between Albury and Echuca.

It is the first home to provide a positive result since the NSW government began offering free voluntary roof insulation testing in August last year. So far, 630 tests across the state have been completed. The Berrigan property brings to 58 the number of NSW homes found to contain loose-fill asbestos. These include 14 houses and one block of 38 units in Queanbeyan, a home in the Yass Valley, one in Bungendore, one in Lithgow, one in Parramatta and one in Manly.

Three other affected homes have been demolished. All those properties were identified via historical records, prior to the positive Berrigan test.

Last August the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an independent investigation into the number of NSW properties affected by loose-fill asbestos supplied by two known companies, the ACT’s Mr Fluffy and a second contractor Bowsers Asphalt, which was targeting large non-residential buildings in NSW.

A spokesman for the NSW government said a technical assessment would now be conducted on the positive asbestos sample to try and determine its origin.

A total of 1752 properties across 26 NSW Local Government Areas have registered for the free testing program which will run until August.

The newly discovered home will also be subject to an asbestos assessment to advise owners whether the living spaces are adequately sealed and whether “asbestos pathways (are) appropriately controlled”.

The Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities said “testing of homes with loose-fill asbestos insulation has shown that exposure is likely to be very low if the asbestos is undisturbed and remains sealed off at all points where entry of asbestos into living areas can occur, including cornices, architraves, around vents, light fittings, manholes and the tops of cupboards.”

NSW residents who are living in homes built before 1980 can register online or call Service NSW to see if they are eligible to have their property tested.

In December, the NSW government announced an inquiry into the potential demolition of loose asbestos-affected homes, in line with action taken by the ACT government.

NSW Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet also announced a financial assistance package for NSW residents who were confirmed to have Mr Fluffy in their homes, providing the same levels of assistance as in the ACT.

See the original post: 

Asbestos found in NSW home as free testing widens in Mr Fluffy saga

NSW Government should buy and demolish 5300 homes with Mr Fluffy insulation: report

Moving on: Chris and Charmaine Sims with their son Zac and daughter Alma. They are leaving Mr Fluffy behind after buying a new home in Kambah in the ACT.

Moving on: Chris and Charmaine Sims with their son Zac and daughter Alma. They are leaving Mr Fluffy behind after buying a new home in Kambah in the ACT. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

More than 5300 NSW homes may be riddled with deadly Mr Fluffy asbestos insulation and the state government should demolish and buy affected properties, a parliamentary report has found.

The findings, unanimously supported by government, Labor and crossbench MPs, leave the Baird government potentially facing a $5 billion bill should it follow the Australian Capital Territory government’s lead and buy back the homes.

Mr Fluffy is the former contractor that used loose-fill asbestos fibres for roof insulation in homes in Canberra and parts of NSW in the 1960s and 1970s. There are fears that the fibres pose acute health risks.

NSW authorities are investigating how many properties contain loose-fill insulation. The report said 59 homes have been identified so far “with the potential for there to be many hundreds more”.


PricewaterhouseCoopers has been commissioned to investigate the extent of Mr Fluffy fibres in NSW. An interim report said that, based on the firm’s installation capacity, up to 5376 homes may contain the insulation.

Using a different calculation, based on the distance between Canberra and affected NSW council areas, the assessors found up to 1110 homes may be affected. Their report said the discrepancy between the figures highlighted the need for further investigation.

The parliamentary report condemned “historic inaction of successive NSW governments in responding to this issue”. The gravity of evidence received by the inquiry promoted the report to be released two months earlier than expected.

It found the presence of loose-fill asbestos fibres rendered a home “ultimately uninhabitable”, posing risks to residents, visitors and the public.

The report recommended a statewide buy-back and demolition scheme for all affected residences, based on the ACT model.

The federal government is providing a concessional loan of up to $1 billion to the ACT to buy back and demolish about 1000 houses affected by Mr Fluffy. The NSW government may face a bill five times that, if the cost is extrapolated to the PricewaterhouseCoopers worst-case estimate.

The federal government has refused financial assistance to NSW, saying legal responsibility for affected homes lies with the state government.

The parliamentary report said owners of Mr Fluffy homes should be legally required to disclose that their home is affected, so prospective buyers are informed.

It also called for affected NSW properties to be tagged to protect tradespeople and emergency services workers. In the case where home occupants wished to immediately leave their homes, financial assistance for crisis accommodation and short-term remediation work should be provided, the report said.

Free ceiling inspections are presently available for NSW properties built before 1980 in areas thought to be affected. The report said such testing should be mandatory – potentially involving tens of thousands of homes.

Twenty-six NSW council areas have been identified as potentially affected by loose-fill asbestos. In Sydney, they include Manly, Parramatta, North Sydney, Ku-ring-gai, Bankstown, Warringah and The Hills councils.

A spokesman for Finance and Services Minister Dominic Perrottet said the government would consider the report.

See more here: 

NSW Government should buy and demolish 5300 homes with Mr Fluffy insulation: report

Asbestos: the hidden danger lurking in your backyard

‘ + ‘ript>’); } function renderJAd(holderID, adID, srcUrl, hash) document.dcdAdsAA.push(holderID); setHash(document.getElementById(holderID), hash); document.dcdAdsH.push(holderID); document.dcdAdsI.push(adID); document.dcdAdsU.push(srcUrl); function er_showAd() var regex = new RegExp(“externalReferrer=(.*?)(; return false; } function isHome() var loc = “” + window.location; loc = loc.replace(“//”, “”); var tokens = loc.split(“/”); if (tokens.length == 1) return true; else if (tokens.length == 2) if (tokens[1].trim().length == 0) return true; } return false; } function checkAds(checkStrings) var cs = checkStrings.split(‘,’); for (var i = 0; i 0 && cAd.innerHTML.indexOf(c) > 0) document.dcdAdsAI.push(cAd.hash); =’none’; } } if (!ie) for (var i = 0; i 0 && doc.body.innerHTML.indexOf(c) > 0) document.dcdAdsAI.push(fr.hash); =’none’; } } } } if (document.dcdAdsAI.length > 0 || document.dcdAdsAG.length > 0) var pingServerParams = “i=”; var sep = “”; for (var i=0;i 0) var pingServerUrl = “/action/pingServerAction?” + document.pingServerAdParams; var xmlHttp = null; try xmlHttp = new XMLHttpRequest(); catch(e) try xmlHttp = new ActiveXObject(“Microsoft.XMLHttp”); catch(e) xmlHttp = null; } if (xmlHttp != null) “GET”, pingServerUrl, true); xmlHttp.send( null ); } } function initAds(log) for (var i=0;i 0) doc.removeChild(doc.childNodes[0]);; var newBody = fr.body; if (getCurrentOrd(newBody) != “” ) newBody = newBody.replace(“;ord=”+getCurrentOrd(newBody), “;ord=” + Math.floor(100000000*Math.random())); else newBody = newBody.replace(“;ord=”, “;ord=” + Math.floor(100000000*Math.random())); doc.write(newBody); document.dcdsAdsToClose.push(; } } else var newSrc = fr.src; if (getCurrentOrd(newSrc) != “” ) newSrc = newSrc.replace(“;ord=”+getCurrentOrd(newSrc), “;ord=” + Math.floor(100000000*Math.random())); else newSrc = newSrc.replace(“;ord=”, “;ord=” + Math.floor(100000000*Math.random())); fr.src = newSrc; } } } if (document.dcdsAdsToClose.length > 0) setTimeout(function() closeOpenDocuments(document.dcdsAdsToClose), 500); } } }; var ie = isIE(); if(ie && typeof String.prototype.trim !== ‘function’) String.prototype.trim = function() return this.replace(/^s+; } document.dcdAdsH = new Array(); document.dcdAdsI = new Array(); document.dcdAdsU = new Array(); document.dcdAdsR = new Array(); document.dcdAdsEH = new Array(); document.dcdAdsE = new Array(); document.dcdAdsEC = new Array(); document.dcdAdsAA = new Array(); document.dcdAdsAI = new Array(); document.dcdAdsAG = new Array(); document.dcdAdsToClose = new Array(); document.igCount = 0; document.tCount = 0; var dcOrd = Math.floor(100000000*Math.random()); document.dcAdsCParams = “”; var savValue = getAdCookie(“sav”); if (savValue != null && savValue.length > 2) document.dcAdsCParams = savValue + “;”; document.dcAdsCParams += “csub=csub;”; var aamCookie=function(e,t)var i=document.cookie,n=””;return i.indexOf(e)>-1&&(n=”u=”+i.split(e+”=”)[1].split(“;”)[0]+”;”),i.indexOf(t)>-1&&(n=n+decodeURIComponent(i.split(t+”=”)[1].split(“;”)[0])+”;”),n(“aam_did”,”aam_dest_dfp_legacy”);

It was the prospect of making hundreds of thousands of dollars’ profit that led to the illegal dumping operation.

If the contaminated soil had been dumped properly, the cost at an approved waste facility would have been $269,952. This is based on a NSW waste levy of $70.30 per tonne for contaminated materials.

The man who organised the trucks, Julian Ashmore, pleaded guilty in the Land and Environment Court in Sydney to illegal dumping, and admitted that he knew what he was doing was wrong and that Mr Zizza had no idea what was happening.

He told Environmental Protection Agency investigators and the Land and Environment Court that he took part in the dumping because he was scared for his life and that of his family if he did not comply with the instigator of the illegal scheme.

There is a lot of money to be made by bypassing the regulations and quietly getting rid of the contaminated waste. Many argue this is a driving factor behind the continued practice of illegal dumping.

Illegal dumping of asbestos has been a major problem around Australia particularly in NSW. The EPA has set up illegal dumping squads to try to stop rogue operators.

The EPA has also given almost $800,000 to 24 local government areas to run a pilot program called the Householders Asbestos Disposal Scheme. It is a 12-month trial which will run until next July allowing householders to deposit their asbestos waste at the council-approved facility for free. However the results won’t be known until late next year.

Asbestos products were totally banned in 2003 but the health-related problems from breathing in fibres are continuing as more asbestos is found in old homes, work sites and in old dumping grounds.

Inhaling the fibres can cause mesothelioma and lung cancer which can take up to 40 years to develop and for which there is no known cure.

The Australian Diseases Foundation of Australia (ADFA) has warned that one in every three houses in Australia built before 1982 has asbestos in it and thousands of workshops and homes have been built with asbestos roofs, floors and walls.

The foundation president Barry Robson applauds the move by councils to take asbestos waste for free but he says it has not totally eradicated the problem and there has been a number of dumping incidents that he knows of recently in southern Sydney.

Although things are improving, he says, the culture is slow to change.

“What we would like to see is like they are doing in Western Australia – having asbestos free days at all local tips,” says Mr Robson.

A 2012 review of the waste levy by KPMG found that there was no “conclusive evidence” that linked the levy to illegal dumping. The report found most illegal dumping was done by householders renovating on a small scale.

In a state government response to the widespread problem of asbestos, a cross-agency organisation, the Heads of Asbestos Co-ordination Authority (HACA), was established and has been working on a statewide plan targeting priority areas of research, risk communication, prevention and co-ordination to ensure safe management of asbestos and try to reduce the high incidence of asbestos-related disease.

HACA has become involved in co-ordinating responses to high-profile asbestos incidents including Mr Fluffy, the former contractor that used asbestos fibres for insulation in the roofs of many homes in Canberra and parts of NSW. It also looks at major natural disasters which cause widespread asbestos contamination such as the Blue Mountains fires last year. The chairman of HACA, Peter Dunphy, says his group has shown the value of cross-agency collaboration and has developed strong relationships with national and state government agencies, local councils, other key stakeholders and the public.

Mr Robson says new protocols which have been put in place by HACA are working well, as was demonstrated during the fires in Coonabarabran, Kiama and the Blue Mountains.

“It all came together with the agencies,” he said. “It was brilliant. In the Blue Mountains they moved 40,000 tonnes of suspected contaminated rubble. Things like that have never been done before.”

But while government responses to asbestos contamination issues are improving, the health-related issues are continuing to rise with the much-talked about third wave of asbestos disease victims emerging in Australia – a phenomenon which has not yet peaked. The first wave were workers who were mining the fibres and plant workers turning it into a range of building products.

The latest research shows that an increasing number of younger women are part of that wave and Associate Professor Rick van der Zwan, from Southern Cross University, said the rate of diagnosis of asbestos-related disease was increasing. Younger people are contracting the disease after being exposed as children to their fathers’ work outfits and as a result of family home renovations since the 1970s.

A parliamentary inquiry has been set up to investigate the use of asbestos by Mr Fluffy.

The cross-party inquiry will try to establish how many homes may have been affected. Mr Fluffy asbestos was pumped into roof spaces of houses in the ACT and some NSW areas in the 1960s and 1970s. A Commonwealth clean-up program was established in the 1980s and 1990s to try to remove the asbestos from ACT houses, but houses in NSW did not get the same assistance.

The government is now offering free testing and advice, during the next 12 months, on risk control for anyone who suspects they may have the Mr Fluffy product in their home.

However, Mr Robson says he has been receiving worried calls from home owners too scared to even reveal what suburb they live in.

He has urged them to come forward and get the testing. Residents can contact WorkCover NSW on 13 10 50 to arrange testing.

Meanwhile, Mr Zizza says that three years later the situation has not been resolved and the contaminated soil remains on his property. He says although he is innocent, his land has been ruined and he has fears for the health and safety of the families with children who live nearby.

Continued here:

Asbestos: the hidden danger lurking in your backyard

Householders Asbestos Disposal Scheme for NSW

Householders Asbestos Disposal Scheme for NSW

Asbestos awareness image

Date: 01-Aug-14
Author: Ryan Collins