Govt to help pay asbestos bill

THE State Government will be forced to pay for the removal of asbestos from private properties in Lennox Head if the house itself has no structural damage.

Last Thursday’s freak tornado sent large amounts of the hazardous material flying throughout the village.

Asbestos on roads and public land has now been completely cleared away.

But residents have been worrying about how to deal with the deadly fibres on their own properties.

It has been difficult for emergency services workers to determine the origin of much of the asbestos, and residents have faced the prospect of cleaning up asbestos that has not come from their own home.

However, at a storm recovery committee meeting yesterday, Ballina Shire mayor Phillip Silver convinced the State Government to offer its help.

“Residents with insurance should contact their insurance company to determine if their policy covers the removal and disposal of asbestos debris,” he said.

“Where insurance does not cover the removal and disposal of asbestos debris, residents should contact the council. The council will be reimbursed under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

“Uninsured residents with asbestos debris on their property should also contact the council.”

Cr Silver said he was pleased the Government had ‘stepped up’.

“I am extremely happy with this outcome,” he said.

“We have got the State Government to take responsibility for private property and I think that is very important.

“The community needs solid information and advice about what to do.

“We can now provide that.”

Cr Silver said he was pleased with the way the disaster had been managed by the police, SES, NSW Fire Brigades, ambulance, the council and the State Government.

“I was also rather struck by the way the Lennox community has rallied together,” he said.

“People are moving backinto their homes or making the difficult decision to demolish or rebuild. For some, the tornado will have totally changed their lives.”

For more information about asbestos-related issues, contact the council on 6686 4444.

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