CHIEF Minister Gallagher has announced another wave of plans to assist home owners with the misfortune to have Mr Fluffy’s deadly loose asbestos insulation in their homes.
The government’s support package includes:
- Up to $10,000 payment to households, plus an additional $2,000 per dependant child residing at the property to cover costs of emergency accommodation and other necessities such as food and clothing, and immediate remediation work
- A $1000 payment to support the replacement of contaminated essential items such as clothes that have had to be destroyed on the advice of an asbestos assessment (in circumstances where families do not have to vacate but essential goods are contaminated).
- Counselling and support services delivered by ACT Medicare Local
- Arranging and meeting the costs of asbestos assessments on Mr Fluffy homes
- Deferral of rates for the period of time in which owners have had to vacate their homes following advice from a licensed asbestos assessor.
The Chief Minister also said that additionally “ACT Medicare Local will provide free assistance to those who are experiencing anxiety and depression by experienced staff. This can be accessed by those who have registered with the Taskforce by calling 6287 8066. General-practitioners can also refer people to specialist psychologists for support.
“For those registered with the asbestos taskforce, any ‘gap’ fee for a visit to the GP or specialist for the development of a mental health plan following a referral from Medicare Local, will be reimbursed to ensure there is no out-of-pocket expense for this assistance.”
“The ACT Government has also decided that the Asbestos Response Taskforce should oversee the assessment of affected homes and will meet the costs of those assessments.
“The number of asbestos assessors in the ACT is limited and we are concerned about possible long wait times for households to obtain an assessment. To overcome this, the Asbestos Response Taskforce is negotiating with industry to procure these assessments on behalf of householders.
“The government will reimburse those who have undertaken an assessment since 18 February 2014.”
To date 398 people have registered with the Asbestos Response Taskforce and the Chief Minister has urged all Canberrans affected by Mr Fluffy asbestos to join the register, which can be done online or through Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.
The Liberals’ Jeremy Hanson has responded quickly saying he welcomes the assistance and will work with the Government.
“The Canberra Liberals welcome the financial assistance and other support announced today by the government for Mr Fluffy affected householders and their families,” Jeremy said.
The Asbestos Taskforce website is at: http://www.act.gov.au/asbestos-response-taskforce