Deadly insulation sees more than 100 NSW homes condemned for demolition

Sean Berry

More than 100 New South Wales homes, including some in Sydney, have been acquired by the government and condemned for demolition.

They've been found to contain loose-fill asbestos, mostly installed for insulation decades ago by the Mr Fluffy company.

From the sky, the white shape sticks out among the leafy St Ives streets and homes - an entire house wrapped up tight because it's a danger to public health.

From the sky, the white shape indicates a house marked for demolition. Source: 7 News

"This is not just about protecting existing homeowners, it's also about future buyers, tradespeople and emergency service personnel," Fair Trading Minister Matt Kean said of the decision to acquire and demolish the houses.

A $248 million government taskforce was set up and so far has found loose-fill asbestos in 142 New South Wales homes.

The taskforce buys the property, has it wrapped up and the asbestos removed, before the home is demolished and the land cleaned up ready for a rebuild.

Asbestos-filled houses are wrapped up tight to protect the public before demolition. Source: 7 News

"The government is doing what we can to remove it from the community as efficiently as possible," Minister Kean said.

The asbestos in some houses is easy to find, but right across the state and in many more homes the lurking danger is not so obvious.

Most houses built before 2004 will have some form of asbestos. Source: 7 News

"There's possibly up to six million homes in Australia with asbestos in them of some kind, particularly bonded asbestos, which can be managed," Rod Smith of asbestosis advocacy and awareness organisation The Bernie Banton Foundation said.

Rod Smith said people living in pre-2004 homes should have an expert check for asbestos. Source: 7 News

"If you own a house built before 2004, you should think about getting it tested and find out what is in your home, but that doesn't mean you panic."