Push For Safer Material In High-Rises To Keep The Community Safe

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has led a push for stronger rules around building product certification to improve fire safety, while at a national Building Ministers Forum held in Melbourne on Friday.

Mr Wynne put fire safety in high-rise buildings on the forum agenda following the November 2014 Lacrosse fire in the Docklands, where cladding unsuitable for use in high-rises was found to have added to the fire’s rapid spread.

Mr Wynne said there must be action on high-risk building materials as a matter of priority, to ensure that the lives and wellbeing of Victorians is not put at risk.

Building Ministers from each state and territory have now agreed on key recommendations to address concerns around high-risk building products.

Adapted recommendations from Mr Wynne’s report included a move for the Australian Building Codes Board to consider changes to the National Construction Code, requiring sprinklers on all balconies regardless of size.

The Board will also investigate options for a mandatory certification scheme for high-risk building products and report back to ministers within six months. It will continue reviewing standards to improve the design and speed of early fire warning systems.

The Andrews Labor Government has already backed a potential mandatory product accreditation scheme and mandatory labelling for certain building products.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“All the states have today recognised the need for a stronger building products accreditation system to help prevent fire tragedies in our high rises.”

“We must act on this as a matter of priority, to ensure that the lives of people in the community are safe and not put at risk.”

“The Andrews Labor Government has led the way. We’ve already backed a potential mandatory product accreditation scheme and mandatory labelling for certain building products.”