All local home owners are being urged by Berrigan Shire Council to apply for free loose-fill asbestos insulation testing.
Recent testing has shown at least 20 properties in the Berrigan Shire have tested positive for loose-fill asbestos.
Council general manager Rowan Perkins said it’s important for home owners to apply for a test.
‘‘We would encourage anyone including tenants to get their home tested, particularly those built before 1986.
‘‘Around 1000 properties in the area were tested in 2016.’’
According to Mr Perkins, older residents are more reluctant to have their property tested as they fear they could be forced out of their home.
‘‘There is a risk that if the property does test positive then the government can request to purchase the land from the owner,’’ Mr Perkins said.
‘‘While the government is pretty generous with its financial assistance with those people, the fact remains it’s not always possible for a person to buy a replacement house with the money they receive.’’
However, the reluctance among some residents to take asbestos testing may cause issues if the property is put up for sale, as an increasing number of property purchasers are requesting to see test results.
‘‘All houses that go to sale must provide documentation proving the house is free of asbestos,’’ Mr Perkins said.
‘‘If home owners don’t take the chance they have now to receive a free test they will have to pay for a test in the future.’’
According to the NSW Government, an unknown number of homes across NSW and ACT had raw crushed asbestos used as ceiling insulation during the 1960s and 1970s. Registrations for free sample testing in the Berrigan Shire area will be available until August 25, 2017.