Labor cuts funding for Mr Fluffy asbestos victims
NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance has condemned Labor and local candidate Steve Whan for cutting funding to Mr Fluffy asbestos victims.
In the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) report into the Opposition’s election costings, it was revealed that Labor has cut the funding for affected residents by 75 per cent, diverting it to their so-called infrastructure plan.
“While the Baird Government is delivering a comprehensive plan to keep residents safe from loose-fill asbestos in their homes, Labor is cutting the support we’ve allocated in order to build infrastructure in Sydney,” Mr Constance said.
“This is an appalling act by Labor.
“In December, the Baird Government announced a ‘Make Safe’ Assistance Package for affected properties and the establishment of a Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Taskforce.
“This package provides financial support for sealing of cavities, environmental cleaning of habitable areas, hazard labelling and regular inspections. Support is also being provided for counselling services, assistance towards the replacement of furnishings and where required emergency accommodation.
“Ensuring the health and safety of residents is the Baird Government’s top priority, but apparently that’s not the case with Labor,” Mr Constance said.
The PBO noted in its report on Monday that the Government has made $328 million in operating expenditure commitments since the Half Yearly Review in December. Among this was $46.9 million to support Mr Fluffy victims in 2014-15.
Labor has reallocated 75 per cent of that money, which means support for Mr Fluffy victims will be reduced to $11.9 million.
Member for Monaro John Barilaro said the Make Safe assistance package demonstrates the government’s commitment to supporting local residents.
“Our comprehensive package will help ensure current practices for managing loose-fill asbestos reduces the risk of exposure through better coordination and improve public awareness for the community,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Unfortunately families have been caught in the middle, but our resolute focus is about ensuring the safety of all residents to improve long term health and safety .”