NSW Government has a Private Public Register
The NSW Government will demolish a house in the Lake Macquarie area of Glendale, after it was found to contain loose-fill asbestos insulation (LFAI), an especially noxious form of asbestos that requires the premises to be demolished and the land remediated to eradicate the hazard.
The house, which was constructed in the 1950s, is believed to have had the LFAI installed when an extension was added in the 70s.
After the presence of LFAI was confirmed by the Department of Fair Trading’s Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation Taskforce [Is There Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation in Your Home?], the occupants were forced to abandon the house — and their belongings inside — while it’s demolished and the land is remediated.
Free testing for Newcastle homes
Although the legislation governing the sale and leasing of residential property in NSW was amended in 2015 [How Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation Could Destroy Your Property’s Value] to require real estate agents to advise purchasers of homes listed on the DFAI public register, properties in Newcastle were not previously thought to be affected.
As a consequence, the home wasn’t listed on the DFAI register, so no disclosures were made to the purchaser when the property was sold in 2016. It’s just luck that the new owner of the property works in the asbestos removal industry, and recognised that the ceiling had been insulated with loose-fill asbestos.
Subsequent to the discovery, Fair Trading’s Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation Taskforce launched an awareness campaign in Newcastle, which takes place this July 2018, with the goal to get Newcastle residents to have their homes tested for LFAI for free.
As a Buyers Agent in Newcastle we have a duty to the buyer, not the seller (like most real estate agents) so if there is anything which we can help you with, we’ll do it.
DFAI not believed to be widespread
Despite the find, the Department of Fair Trading’s executive director Peter Dunphy told the Newcastle Herald that there isn’t any reason to believe the use of LFAI was widespread in the Newcastle region.
“In Newcastle, we’re expecting it was probably just a local builder or local homeowner who thought it was a good idea to put it into the ceiling.
“There is no evidence to suggest that there was a contractor that was installing loose-fill asbestos like [what] occurred in southern NSW,” he said.
In NSW, 0.2 percent of properties statewide have tested positive for LFAI, out of 65,000 statewide tests.
Newcastle DFAI-affected homes will be demolished
The Glendale house, now that’s tested positive for DFAI, will be added to the public DFAI register until it’s demolished and remediated. Aside from section 149 certificates held by the council — which will document the home’s history of LFAI and the steps taken to have it removed — the property will be removed from the DFAI register.
If the home isn’t demolished and remediated, it will remain on the register, effectively making the property worthless if the homeowners ever decide to sell or lease it in the future and the loose-fill asbestos remains.