Tamworth homes offered free asbestos testing

The NSW government has announced it will undergo 250 free tests for loose-fill asbestos in Tamworth Regional Council after it was confirmed the area contained the product.

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NSW Fair Trading commissioner Rod Stowe has urged homeowners to sign up for free sample testing for the product.

“NSW Fair Trading is offering free testing as an opportunity for us to find out if loose-fill asbestos was installed as insulation in other properties in the area,” Mr Stowe said.

“If you are the owner of a pre-1980s residential property in the Tamworth Regional Council area, you are eligible to register for the free testing. Once the testing has been completed, the outcome of those tests will inform any further action that needs to be considered,” he said.

Loose-fill asbestos is raw crushed asbestos, a product which was used in the 1960s and 1970s as insulation in ceilings in an unknown number of NSW homes.

The hazardous airborne fibres in the product can move from the ceiling into living spaces over time, and earlier experiences in both NSW and the ACT have proven that removing the product from the ceiling cavity does not effectively remove the danger.

After consultations with a range of experts, the NSW government has determined that demolition, comprehensive site remediation and disposal are the best ways to ensure the health and safety of the community.

If your property is found to contain loose-fill asbestos there are options available, including having the property purchased at market value as though it didn’t contain the product as part of the NSW government’s Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program.

To date 137 properties have tested positive to loose-fill asbestos across NSW from more than 19,000 properties tested.

You can register for free testing online at www.loosefillasbestos.nsw.gov.au or call Service NSW on 1300 784 379.

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