John Rixon and his  son Ben, outside their asbestos contaminated Lismore home.
John Rixon and his son Ben, outside their asbestos contaminated Lismore home.

EVACUATE NOW

By DAWN COHEN

STATE Housing Minister Carl Scully last night ordered the immediate evacuation of a Goonellabah family from an asbestoscontaminated home, condemning his department for its treatment of the family.

This is the second time in 10 days that John Rixon and his three children have been forced to flee their home.

Two weeks ago, the department carried out an unsafe renovation on an asbestos-fibro kitchen wall of the McDermott Street bungalow while the family was in residence. No safety precautions were taken.

Breathing in a microscopic amount of asbestos dust can cause asbestosis and other potentially lethal lung diseases.

The department waited three days before removing the family to safety last Monday, despite Mr Rixon's pleas for help.

Last Friday, the department instructed Mr Rixon to return home, claiming the fibres had been cleaned up.

On Mr Rixon's return, accompanied by Lismore Department of Housing team leader Peter Lewis, the single parent was again exposed to the toxic dust.

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