Home' Queanbeyan Chronicle : Q Chronicle 17-02-2015 Contents 5 - Tuesday, February 17, 2015
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Sharing yarns eases Fluffy stress burden
Former director of the ACT Bushfire Recovery Centre and member of the ACT Mr Fluffy Community and Expert
Reference Group Chris Healy sets off for a walk from her new home in Hackett.
Photo: Matt Bedford
Handling community trauma was
always at the heart of Chris Healy's
The former ACT Bushfire Recovery
Centre director was devastated to find
out her home was contaminated by Mr
Fluffy asbestos last year and drew on
years of experience to cope and
support fellow victims.
"Trauma is isolating," she said.
"People get tremendous strength
from being together and sharing
information, practical information but
also information on how to handle the
On a fortnightly basis, Ms Healy
walks with 15 to 20 others who are
wrapped-up in the Mr Fluffy crisis.
"We set off from Yarralumla Cafe,
walk around the lake and chat," she
"We are all in different stages of
moving through this adversity but we
sit and have coffee afterward and share
where we are up to and give advice to
Ms Healy lived in her Mr Fluffy
contaminated home for 23 years and
has just recently bought a new house,
due to the toxic contamination.
"We had expected to spend our
remaining years in our homes," she
"Shockingly we now have to sell
and buy a new home and leave behind
the memories of many years of family
In the wake of disaster, Ms Healy
said it was common for people to feel
unsure about how to help.
While she said ensuring the needs
of those affected was understood, the
enthusiasm of the broader community
to lend a hand could be harnessed
Ms Healy congratulated Woden
Community Service for taking a step
in the right direction and hosting a
morning tea this month to listen to
what affected homeowners needed.
"People are facing the destruction
of their beloved homes and gardens
which is heart-wrenching," she said.
Salvaging bulbs and cuttings, or
donating spare pot plants were some
of the simple community-level
measures floated at the meeting to ease
the burden of relocation for residents.
Ms Healy said more open
communication with affected
households was essential across the
ACT to counter the shock and
bewilderment which had been created.
"The first step is for people to stand
up and say what they need," she said.
"Then it can be worked through by
community organisations and the ACT
Asbestos Taskforce how to safely help
gets thumbs up
A survey of more than 1300 Gungahlin
residents has shown strong support for
More than 70 per cent of
respondents said they supported the
infrastructure project and 66 per cent
said they would use it.
Gungahlin Community Council
member Kevin Cox said it was a
surprising result given the number of
people who were passionately against
the Capital Metro project.
The survey showed young people
were strongly in favour of light rail
while those living closest to the route
were the project's biggest supporters.
"Opposition to light rail was solely
about cost and not against public
transport,'' he said. The survey, which
ran from October to December,
attracted 1343 respondents in total.
Almost 70 per cent of survey
participants were female.
The survey covered road issues in
Gungahlin, safety issues, building
heights and health care.
Mr Cox said the biggest issue for
residents was roads.
The need to duplicate Gundaroo and
Horse Park drives were the two major
Hibberson Street in the town centre
remained an ongoing issue.
More than 70 per cent of those
surveyed wanted to see the street
Hoons were the main safety and
security concern for residents.
Almost 65 per cent of people
identified dangerous driving in the
area as a problem. Meanwhile, almost
40 per cent of respondents believed
there was not a strong enough police
presence in Gungahlin.
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