It’s been a big day in Wanniassa.

The first of the Mr Fluffy demolitions got underway on Sternberg Crescent. It’s the first of many.image

I just drove past the address moments ago and the house is pretty much gone. That was quick.

I spoke to a few Wanniassa residents on the radio this morning who were a little worried about Mr Fluffy asbestos being upset and flying through the air to them. Andrew Kefford from the Asbestos Task Force assured them that they had nothing to worry about.

So if there’s nothing to worry about….if it’s so difficult to end up with these fibres in your lungs….then why are turning all of these lives upside down ? Either there’s a significant risk, or there’s not. We can’t have it both ways.image

I spoke to Mark McCabe also, the Work Safety Commissioner from the site.  He told me that six bags of asbestos fibres had been found in the wall cavities of this house on Sternberg Crescent. I don’t know how big the bags were, but as Mark put it to me, we’re talking about trillions of loose asbestos fibres.  That’s enough to put the wind up you.

6 bags of loose fill asbestos from the walls of this house, even though it went through the Commonwealth clean up in the 1980’s. Fat lot of good that did.  And I guess it proves that the buyback and demolition was the only way to go on this.

What’s playing out on Sternberg Crescent today is a trial run at the demolition and the ins and outs of how they’re going to do each one. So they’re trialling traffic management and engagement with nearby residents and safety procedures.  Once they get to the demolition process, most of the work has been done. In the lead up to today all of the internal loose fill asbestos had been removed and the property was then sprayed with glue to bind any of the remaining fibres.

imageThe demolition process is designed to inform planning for removal of all asbestos-contaminated homes around the ACT, including timing, cost, engagement with nearby residents, and safety procedures.

The house immediately behind 81 Sternberg Crescent is another of the trial demolition properties. It’s a bigger multi story house and it’s very clear that much has work done on it in the lead up to the bulldozers coming in some time this month.