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Banning Combustible Cladding in Victoria

By Lia de Sousa on

Since the 2014 Lacrosse building fire in Melbourne, there has been heated debate, publicity and government enquiries with respect to non-compliant building materials used in new strata developments. In 2018, new ministerial guidelines are set to ban the use of these products with harsher penalties in place for builders and suppliers who fail to adhere.

This Media release from the 10 March, 2018 outlining the latest from the Victorian Cladding Taskforce has been supplied by Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne.

The Andrews Labor Government will ban the most dangerous types of combustible cladding from being used on Victorian buildings.

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Minister for Planning Richard Wynne today released new ministerial guidelines to building surveyors – a key recommendation of the Victorian Cladding Taskforce – which focuses on buildings where people sleep or gather.

Aluminium Cladding Panels with a polyethylene core of more than 30 per cent will be banned on all multi-storey buildings. Expanded polystyrene will also be banned.

The new ministerial guidelines spell out precisely what can’t be used on Victorian building sites for suppliers and practitioners in the building chain, spelling an end to the use of dangerous, flammable materials.

Mr Wynne has directed the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to issue a product safety alert, and building practitioners who ignore this directive will face disciplinary action from the VBA.

Last year, the Labor Government established the Victorian Cladding Taskforce to investigate the extent of non-compliant cladding on Victorian buildings.

The Taskforce is chaired by former Premier Ted Baillieu and Deputy Premier John Thwaites, and handed down its initial report in December.

The Taskforce originally identified 1,369 buildings as most likely having Aluminium Cladding Panels with a polyethylene core or Expanded Polystyrene, but already that figure is decreasing.

Of those buildings, it’s since been established that 579 have not begun construction, and a further 129 are half built.

The Labor Government has beefed up the powers and resources of the (VBA), which has already assessed 87 buildings as part of a statewide audit.

If buildings are found to be non-compliant, the VBA and Municipal Building Surveyors are issuing emergency orders, ensuring additional measures are put in place to meet the highest standards of safety.

Building practitioners are now on notice, with the Government directing the VBA to inspect more of Victoria’s buildings each year, from less than two per cent annually to 10 per cent.

 

For more information, see the full media release here.

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