Early asbestos costs counted
The ACT Government has released figures from the Mr Fluffy buyback public health and safety campaign.
It has cost Canberra over $2 million to purchase, clear and resell just the first nine blocks of 1,000.
The Government pledged to rid the Territory of houses containing loose-fill asbestos – a highly toxic substance used as roofing insulation in previous decades.
The ACT Government spent $5.25 million buying the asbestos-affected properties, and another $1.5 million to clear them.
The after auctions of cleared blocks in April, the Government says it may start to recoup some costs.
The blocks were resold for the combined price of $4,683,000.
It leaves the net cost of buying, clearing and reselling the properties at over $227,000 per block, or $2 million all up.
But this does not include administration costs or interest payments on the $1 billion Federal Government loan required to launch the Mr Fluffy response.
Planning and Land Management Minister Mick Gentleman said it was not about profit.
“It is not a question of if there will be a loss, it is a question of how big the financial impact will be to the Territory,” he said.
“It is important for the community as well as affected owners to understand as we head into the sales phase of the program that the ACT Government is not profiteering of the sale of blocks.”
Mr Gentleman said the costs were in line with Government expectations.
“At present $740 million has been committed to the response and we continue to look at a cost to the community of at least $400 million, even after the resale of remediated blocks,” he said.