The Commonwealth Government will provide the ACT Government with a concessional loan of up to $1 billion to deliver a programme to buy back and demolish houses in the ACT affected by Mr Fluffy loose-fill asbestos.
This facility will allow the ACT to borrow up to $1 billion at the Commonwealth’s interest rate for a period of 10 years, allowing savings to the ACT Government of up to $32 million over the life of the loan.
“I am pleased that the Commonwealth and the ACT have reached an in-principle agreement that will provide certainty for Mr Fluffy homeowners and residents in the ACT,” Minister for Employment Senator Eric Abetz said today.
“The one-off size and cost of dealing with this issue represents about a fifth of the ACT’s annual budget.
"Without such a loan arrangement, the ACT’s capacity to deal with this issue would have been significantly curtailed and put at threat its own credit rating.
“This loan will ensure that the ACT Government is in a position to deliver a well-structured remediation programme over coming years.
"The Commonwealth has also offered to provide in-kind assistance in the form of expertise to assist the ACT in developing the programme.
“I want to particularly recognise the Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, and the head of the ACT Asbestos Taskforce, Mr Andrew Kefford, for their dedication and commitment on this issue.
"The open and transparent way in which both Governments have been able to work together has ensured a positive result for ACT residents.
“I also recognise Senators Seselja and Lundy, as well as Mr Leigh and Ms Brodtmann, who have been fierce advocates for their constituents.”