Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Lower Hunter homeowners urged to take up free asbestos testing

BY JARROD MELMETH

Lower Hunter residents are being urged to take advantage of free asbestos testing currently being offered for the next 30 days after loose-fill asbestos was found in a Glendale home.

On Monday the NSW Government announced its decision to expand the $278 million state-wide taskforce targetting loose-fill asbestos.

Loose-fill asbestos is raw crushed asbestos (unlike bonded products), which in the 1960s and 70s was installed as ceiling insulation in an unknown number of NSW homes. Over time, hazardous airborne fibres can move from the ceiling into living spaces. Earlier experiences in both NSW and the ACT have demonstrated that simply removing loose-fill asbestos from a ceiling cavity does not effectively remove the hazard.

NSW Fair Trading Executive Director Peter Dunphy said homes found to contain loose-fill asbestos do still have options available.

"This includes having your home purchased at market value by the Government as if it didn't contain asbestos.

"Our number one focus is removing this hazard from the community, while also protecting the biggest investment most of us will make in our lifetimes, the family home," Mr Dunphy said.

Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery said there are fears of more homes containing loose asbestos due to the number of older houses in the area.

Free testing for loose-fill asbestos is available in Greater Newcastle, including Maitland City, Cessnock City, Port Stephens, Newcastle City and Lake Macquarie City local government areas.

For more information and to register for testing click here.

Image source: ABC news.

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