Thursday, December 20, 2007

3CR interview on asbestos at Roberts Street

This morning I was interviewed on community radio station 3CR's breakfast program about asbestos at the Roberts Street public housing flats in Northcote. The interview covered the failure of the Office of Housing and Northcote MP Fiona Richardson to release information about asbestos at the flats and how it will be dealt with when the flats are demolished and redeveloped for new public housing early in the new year.

As well as being the local MP, Richardson chairs the community advisory committee for the redevelopment, but has yet to fulfil a 5 December commitment in The Melbourne Times to release an asbestos audit for the site that the Office of Housing website claims has already been done. Nor has demolition tender information been released, despite the website stating that the tender for demolition was to be advertised mid-December. No minutes for any of the community advisory committee meetings are available on the website, including the 26 November meeting at which Richardson claims the issue of asbestos was discussed.

While I wholeheartedly support the Roberts Street public housing redevelopment, it should proceed with transparency and accountability – especially with regard to asbestos. As I said in this morning's interview, if the government is asking us to trust them on asbestos at Roberts Street, then I'd say trust comes with openness and public information, not secrecy and spin.

If you'd like to get in touch with me on this issue, email, or leave a comment by following the comments link at the bottom of this post.

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