A senior class action lawyer has welcomed findings from the NSW Inquiry into Mr Fluffy asbestos and is calling on the NSW Government to urgently develop a remediation and buyback scheme to protect residents who may have loose-fill asbestos in their homes.
Slater and Gordon National Practice Group Leader Ben Phi said it was imperative that plans be put in place in NSW to assist residents who have found loose-fill asbestos in their homes.
“It is alarming a number of properties in NSW have been found to contain loose-fill asbestos and we have no doubt that more will be uncovered as the Government’s investigation continues,” Mr Phi said.
“The last thing the Government would want is for increasing numbers of residents to discover that their homes are contaminated without being armed with a solution.
“This was unfortunately the situation that has occurred in the ACT where more than 1,000 properties were found to have contained the deadly Mr Fluffy asbestos.
“The ACT Government responded strongly in response to the crisis, and it is paramount that the NSW Government follow suit.
“A voluntary buyback scheme should be put in place so that residents who have discovered that their homes are contaminated can be offered market value for their property and relocate without any financial burden.
“It would be crucial that residents participating in a buyback scheme are afforded the rights offered in a compulsory acquisition process, including compensation for loss suffered as a result of the acquisition, financial assistance to find a replacement property, and providing legal assistance.”
Mr Phi also supported the proposal to provide emergency financial assistance to homeowners whose properties were found to contain the loose-fill asbestos should they need to suddenly relocate to other accommodation.