Asbestos advice on the way

Removing asbestos. Photo: Rohan Thomson, Canberra Times.

Removing asbestos. Photo: Rohan Thomson, Canberra Times.

Bega Valley Shire Council says it will soon be able to provide further advice to local residents who believe their homes may contain deadly loose-fill asbestos fibres, following a meeting with a NSW Government taskforce and WorkCover NSW representatives later this week.

Fears emerged last month that the fibres, which are thought to be present in over 1000 homes in Canberra and around 11 in Queanbeyan, may also have been used as ceiling insulation in residential and commercial premises in the Bega Valley during the 1960s and 1970s.

Bega Valley Shire Council has been logging calls from concerned residents who believe their homes may be affected, and says it will be better placed to issue advice after this week’s meeting.

“We are meeting with NSW Government asbestos policy representatives and WorkCover NSW later this week to discuss the issue of loose fill asbestos potentially being found in local homes,” Jeff Tipping, Council’s manager of health and building services, said.

“A statement will be released following the meeting to provide concerned residents with up-to-date information and the appropriate steps to take if they are concerned about their property.”

Commonly known as ‘Mr Fluffy’ asbestos, named after an ACT-based company that was known to have used it, WorkCover NSW says the insulation is raw asbestos that has been finely crushed and installed in the roof cavity.

It can easily become airborne and is easily inhaled or ingested, which can cause significant health risks.

NSW Health has confirmed that an unnamed third company, along with the now-defunct Mr Fluffy and Bowsers Asphalt, has been identified as having used the asbestos.

It is known to have been used in Canberra and south-western NSW, with concerns also over homes on the South Coast and in Sydney, where Bowsers Asphalt was based.

If you believe your home may be affected, log your case with Bega Valley Shire Council on 6499 2222.

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