The NSW Government is establishing a public register of residential properties affected by loose-fill asbestos insulation. Loose-fill asbestos is raw crushed asbestos, which in the 1960s and 1970s was installed as insulation. This insulation is particularly problematic because it is easy to disturb and fibres can be inhaled.
More information is available on the loose-fill asbestos insulation webpage.
The NSW Government has taken a number of actions to deal with loose-fill asbestos insulation in residential properties. Homeowners with homes built before 1980 in identified local government areas have until 1 August 2016 to register for a free sample test to determine if their home contains loose-fill asbestos insulation.
A Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program has been established for properties containing loose-fill asbestos insulation. This program is comprised of a NSW Government purchase of premises and land, and a NSW Government purchase of premises only. NSW Fair Trading is managing this program, and a public register of affected properties is being established.
The Home Building Act 1989 was amended in late 2015 to allow for the establishment of the loose-fill asbestos insulation register. For the register to become operational, changes are required to the Home Building Regulation 2014. Other related changes are being made to the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.
NSW Fair Trading released the proposed Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation Amendment Regulations for public comment.
Comments closed on 15 April 2016.
The changes to the Home Building Regulation 2014 state how the presence of loose-fill asbestos insulation is to be determined, which properties can be listed on the register, and includes warning sign requirements.
The Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010 is being amended to add a listing on the loose-fill asbestos insulation register as a material fact to be disclosed to prospective tenants, and to add new terms to the standard tenancy agreement regarding rental properties being listed on the loose-fill asbestos insulation register.
The Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 is being amended so that a section 149 planning certificate will have to state if a property is listed on the loose-fill asbestos insulation register.
NSW Fair Trading is reviewing all submissions, which may result in further amendments to the Regulations. If required, we may conduct further targeted consultation on any key issues identified. Those who submitted comments during the consultation period will be notified when the Regulations are finalised.
The final Regulations will be published on the NSW legislation website.