Griffiths / Standing firm to Fluffy logic

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THREE cheers for Katy Gallagher!

Hip hip, hooray!

Hip hip, hooray!

Hip hip, hooray!

Having made an exceptionally generous offer to the Mr Fluffy homeowners she ignored some opportunistic politics from Jeremy Hanson (it’s hard to see him offering as much “flexibility” at the expense of the budget bottom line if he actually had to deliver it), ignored the grumbling Fluffy malcontents holding out for an even bigger deal and stuck to her guns.

Let’s review what’s gone down.

John Griffiths
John Griffiths.
Having bought houses that were almost certainly at a discount because of their past association with the awful brown asbestos roof insulation, the homeowners, who had thought their cheap buy was due to some innate real estate genius, are getting out with the taxpayers coughing up a valuation based on the fiction of there being no asbestos issue.

This is, apparently, not good enough. One suspects the malcontents, having already got such a great deal, think that with a rush and a push the land can be theirs.

Let us remember how life works for everyone except the precious petal real estate genii of the Fluffy claque: pretty much everyone who bought a record store 10 years ago? Gone.

Bookstore franchisees? Roadkill.

Dare I say it; founders of independent media sites? Years of work gone, thousands in entitlements lost and crippling credit-card debt that comes with sudden and unexpected unemployment.

In every other walk of life, if your business ends up on the wrong side of history you take the hit, dust yourself off, and start working hard to try and make up the damage.

Fluffy owners, with assistance for out-of-pocket expenses, and stamp duty exemptions, are horrified they’re going to have to endure the trauma of moving house.

They may be surprised to know there is a significant group in their society, called renters, who do not own assets worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, who normally have to move every few years with no government assistance at all!

Even more enraging; those renters will have to endure cuts to government services they rely on in order to fund the ever more entitled Fluffyites.

So on behalf of the wider community, who has not generally been paying attention, let us draw a line in the sand.

If you stop a non-Fluffy owner in the street and explain that the Government is going to bail out the losses of failed real estate investors at the expense of the rest of the community their response (and I’ve tried this) consists of four-letter words conveyed in a negative manner.

If you tell that person in the street this offer is not good enough for the Fluffy owners, the response gets considerably louder and more negative .

The outgoing Chief Minister grasped the nettle and chose to fix this problem once and for all. The houses will be demolished and the land scraped. This clarity of action has eluded government in the ACT for half a century.

She offered the home owners compensation equal to what their houses would be worth if all the inspections and reports (which the owners should have read) did not say there was an issue of deadly contamination.

It is handsomely fair. It fixes the issue. The moaning really needs to stop.

Either that or we need to bail out every other failed investor in the community.

I could do with the money but I really don’t see how that can work.


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  1. Yeah, sure. What a ridiculous article. Buyers weren’t told their homes had Fluffy in them, so we competed against other potential buyers and paid full market value like everyone else in Canberra.

    I’m sure every Fluffy owner would tell you that they would never have bought their home if they had known it was contaminated with a deadly substance. The Government knew – they could have saved us this misery. Don’t act like Katy Gallagher is our saviour. We should never have been put in this position in the first place.

  2. – John Griffiths has not taken the time to read any of our posts on social media or submissions that we provided for the ACTAsbestos enquiry .There is no way that any of us our whinging and ungrateful. All we are after is a fair outcome for all families affected. For the record, we bought our house John Griffiths not because it had asbestos removed and we were getting it cheap. I would like you to know that we bought our house firstly because we fell in love with it. We were excited to be purchasing a fabulous home that met all and more of our expectations AND we had a certificate from the Federal/ACT governments to say that our house was safe to live in now that the asbestos was removed from the ceiling. How is any of this our fault for believing in a government assisted project. HOW! Please do not write each week ridiculous and completely false stories.

  3. You are assuming reports were provided to potential buyers prior to purchase, they were not. You are also assuming potential buyers were aware of Canberra’s Mr Fluffy history, many were not living in Canberra during the removal program. How are you supposed to make informed decisions when the information is not made available to you. You are assuming all owners bought at a discount, get real.
    Try asking someone on the street if they think families who bought their homes in good faith and now find themselves in a situation where their health has been put at risk and they are being forced to sell and most likely repurchase in an inflated market due to the government failing to ensure adequate information was made available to them, deserve that same governments assistance and maybe the response will be different.

  4. Mr Griffiths, you really need to check your facts before writing such an article. Many Mr Fluffy home owners bought their homes before they had ever been made aware of this awful asbestos contamination. Not ‘cheap’ as you say, but priced the same as any other house on the market at the time of purchase and being given permission by the government to renovate, when they were fully aware of the contamination. While the government buyback program may be suitable for some, it certainly doesn’t negate the future health issues associated with asbestos exposure.

  5. It really is a pity that a one-eyed person who does not bother to ascertain facts before spouting out such rubbish holds a responsible position in our society. I initially was waiting for the punch line to the joke!
    unfortunately it seems the joke is you

  6. What a patronizing, ignorant article by John Griffiths. A worthy journalist should check their facts. People who buy a business are aware of the risks. Fluffyowners were not – building reports have never mentioned the presence of loose fill, only bonded, asbestos. The Federal Government were warned of the dangers in 1968 but Mr Fluffy was allowed to continue to the detriment of thousands.

  7. I was not impressed by the article written by John Griffiths regarding the Mr Fluffy house problem.

    I know a family that moved to Canberra with 3 young children. They rented for a few years and eventually bought one of the homes they had rented previously as it was within metres of the children’s school and a bus stop almost outside the door. Shops were close by and it was big enough for the needs of growing
    children with a big garden.

    No they did not get it at a bargain price and have paid it off over the years and have installed double glazing and modified it to suit their needs better. Now with grandchildren also visiting and the extended family having great holidays there together they find they have a Mr Fluffy house!

    What damage has been done over the years to their health and the health of their children and grandchildren?

    As for your snide remarks about renters footing the bill. There is no need for anyone to rent. All they have to do is buy their own home. Do not tell me it cannot be done as my husband and I paid off our various homes on one salary while raising a large family. One of my children and her husband paid their home off when interest rates were 17% and no they did not have a high paying job but both worked hard to own their own home.

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