Mayoral Column 30 October 2017

Published on 30 October 2017

Don’t play renovation roulette

Renovating older homes and bringing them back to their former glory is a favourite pastime among many Victorians, including residents within the Loddon Shire. In fact, many Loddon Shire residents live in period homes and may be currently renovating these homes or are considering renovating in the future.

However when it comes to renovating these homes, it’s important to be mindful of the risks of asbestos products that may be in and around your home. This is one of the messages of November’s Asbestos Awareness Month, with this year’s campaign urging home improvers to “go slow” when renovating and to be aware of asbestos.

According to the Asbestos Education Committee, asbestos can be found in any home that was built or renovated before 1987 (this includes farm structures constructed from fibro).

It’s important to understand that it’s not just fibro homes and structures that contain asbestos. In fact, one in every three homes including brick, weatherboard, fibro and clad homes, contain asbestos products.

These asbestos products can be in underfloor coverings such as carpets, lino and vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings and ceiling spaces, eaves, garages and roofs. It can also be found around hot water pipes, fences, home extensions, outdoor toilets, backyard and farm structures, chook sheds and even dog kennels.

If it is sealed, left undisturbed and in good condition, asbestos doesn’t pose a health risk. However, if it is disturbed during renovations or maintenance these fibres can be released into the air and inhaled, causing asbestos-related diseases.

To find out more about asbestos containing products, where they might be found and to take the 20 point safety check visit www.asbestosawareness.com.au.

Managing Farm Risk Programme one-off rebate

A one-off rebate to help farmers with costs when getting advice and assessments in preparing and applying for a new insurance policy around drought management and other production and market risks, is now available.

Rebates of up to $2,500 are available to eligible farm businesses through application to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ Managing Farm Risk Programme.

It’s important to note that the rebates are for half of the costs incurred for getting independent and professional advice around a new insurance policy for these risks. The rebates are not for insurance policy premiums. 

To find out more, including eligibility and application guidelines, visit www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/assistance/mfrp

Get it sorted

The Loddon Mallee Waste and Resource Recovery Group are encouraging residents to make sure they sort their loads before going to the nearest waste facility.

By making a few small changes to how you pack your load you can potentially save money. This is because there are various types of charges for different materials if an item can be recycled, repurposed or reprocessed it’s cheaper to dispose of (and some materials are accepted for free).

If the load is not sorted properly, it can be hard for the attendant to see, which means sometimes they can only charge the highest rate – this is why it’s important to sort your load.

As well as saving money, you also save time by pre-sorting materials. It can be as easy as flattening any large cardboard boxes, placing bricks and rubble together, separating timber, metals, electronic waste and green waste.

In addition to saving money and time, sorting your load reduces the amount of waste being sent to landfill, ultimately helping our environment.

For more information and tips visit www. http://lmwrrg.vic.gov.au/kerbside/at-home/recycle/get-it-sorted/