7 Mar / 2015

Mr Fluffy in Deakin

DRA attended the Inner South Canberra Community Council update on the “Mr Fluffy” asbestos remediation scheme, with presentations from the ACT Government Task Force.

It was well attended, and the questions showed what a wide range of different issues are troubling affected residents across Canberra.

According to the Task Force, there are only 11 identified Mr Fluffy houses in Deakin (1% of the Canberra total of around 1100 houses).

Of these eleven in Deakin, five owners have already accepted the ACT Government offer to buy their properties at the valuation set in October 2014. We do not know the views of the remaining six Deakin property owners, as negotiations are generally confidential.  Personal circumstances and preferences are different in each case.

At the community level, there are issues that may affect immediate neighbours.

  • Some neighbouring residents are not convinced that the Health and Safety arrangements will adequately ensure that asbestos fibres do not escape during the demolition and remediation excavations.
  • Some neighbouring residents are concerned that replacement of single homes with dual-occupancies will damage the residential character of the neighbourhood and streetscape.
  • Some are concerned that the special qasi-rezoning of individual blocks will be the “thin end of the wedge” to allowing progressive overbuilding and reduction of the residential character in the protected residential zone.
  • For some, the main issue is to remain in their residence as long as possible, and for others the main issue is the financial costs of forced relocation.
  • Other neighbouring residents (or investors) are arguing that because of the change in planning rules applying to the Mr Fluffy blocks, neighbours should also be allowed to demolish and develop dual-occupancies on adjoining blocks.

DRA would like to hear from any affected residents regarding their experiences and issues, in order to assess whether there is any consensus on representations we might make on behalf of the community generally.