Mr Fluffy home owners in Canberra are bracing themselves for the game changing announcement….and it looks close.

The wheels of government turn ever so slowly. Far too slowly on most occasions.

It’s easy to suggest that both levels of Government have dragged the chain on this issue. I think in reality if the ACT Government and the Feds knew then what they know now, the Fluffy homes would all have been demolished and no Canberra families would be living with the uncertainty that currently exits.

Katy Gallagher and her crew have moved quickly to set up their taskforce and to fiercely lobby the National Government to work out a solution.

In the short term this is going to cost a lot of money.

In the longer term, most of it will be recovered by onselling the land…well that’s my understanding of the most likely scenario.

I don’t know how far away we are from a major announcement, but it feels close for a number of reasons.

Late last week we learnt that our local government will push back or even abandon some big projects promised in the budget because of the possible cost of the Mr Fluffy clean up. I for one would expect them to do this.

I’d advocating shelving Capital Metro, but I can’t see that happening.

Mr Fluffy would be a wonderful excuse to drop the toy train altogether.

It certainly could effect that new convention centre project, the city to the lake development and this proposed new city sports stadium.

The Canberra Times informed us on Saturday that

Katy Gallagher’s priorities remained health and education funding, as well as the planned light rail line to Gungahlin.
Cabinet has agreed the fourth priority for the coming five years should be the demolition or remediation of homes with the toxic loose-fill asbestos, but she stressed negotiations over cost and expert advice were ongoing with Employment Minister Eric Abetz.
“The cabinet has agreed that hospitals, schools, public transport and asbestos are now the four key priorities for the government to work on for the next five years,” Ms Gallagher said
“Outside of that, there isn’t going to be much else.”
An audit of government spending is under way and the mid-year budget update, due in February, will see reconsideration of all large calls on territory revenue.
“Should demolition occur, and occur over a five-year period, we are still looking at a very substantial bill, probably in excess of $300 million,” Ms Gallagher said.
“I don’t expect [the Commonwealth] will offer to come and pay for everything.”

So lets do the sums on this. $300 million divided by a 1000 homes equals around $300,000 for each home. Clearly the Government is going to need to pay more than 300k to buy them out. We had a Mr Fluffy home at Curtin sold at auction on the weekend for over 500k. I’m thinking that the figure of $300 million factors in the cost of demolition and the resale of the land.

This is what Brianna Heseltine had to say on the Mr Fluffy owners facebook page this morning.

Great to see the community’s comments on this post. People want to see money spent on preserving lives by dealing with Mr Fluffy houses, not another sports stadium. As priorities go, it’s the right decision. Nobody should get cancer from their family home.

What are your thoughts ?