Finley properties prepare for loose-fill asbestos removal

BERRIGAN Council’s mayor hopes land affected by loose-fill asbestos will be offered for sale promptly after its remediation.

Matthew Hannan said many of the 19 Berrigan properties with the dangerous material had been sold to the NSW government, fenced off and sealed ahead of demolition.

“As quick as the asbestos can be removed, the houses removed and the blocks rehabilitated, then we’d like to see the state government get those blocks back on the market,” Cr Hannan said.

“Hopefully … people are confident enough to purchase these blocks.

“It’s a real opportunity there, I’d suggest.

“If there’s 18 blocks in our community up for sale, it’s an opportunity for people to build in some prominent areas.”

A NSW Fair Trading spokesman said demolition had begun in Berrigan, with one property remediated and removed from the loose-fill asbestos insulation register.

The government had bought 14 properties in the shire, with 18 in total taking part in its voluntary purchase and demolition program.

Only Greater Hume (37) and Queanbeyan (60) councils recorded more positive results to asbestos than Berrigan’s 19, of which 18 were located in Finley.

Cr Hannan, who lives in Finley, said owners had been shocked to learn their homes contained the dangerous material as insulation.

“I think there was probably disappointment and confusion in the early days, but I think people have just got on with their lives, what else can they do?” he said.

“The ones that I’ve talked to have remained in Finley.”

To date, 1078 properties in Berrigan have been tested for loose-fill asbestos.

“I had my house checked, thankfully it tested negative,” Cr Hannan said.

“Now we have the certificate that says that we don’t have any loose-fill asbestos in our property.

“That certificate is very important.” 

NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean will visit Holbrook, where 33 homes have tested positive, on Monday to discuss the program with residents and Greater Hume Council.