National Leadership Needed At Building Ministers Forum

12 December 2019

Victoria is calling on the Commonwealth to ban combustible cladding and restore confidence in the building industry to avoid a national insurance crisis ahead of today’s Building Ministers’ forum in Canberra.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne will seek a ban on all Aluminum Composite Cladding containing more than seven per cent polyethylene for use in Victoria, in consultation with industry.

This decision is based on expert advice by the CSIRO who conducted safety testing on a variety of products.

Minister Wynne says the Federal Government needs to prevent the importation of dangerous cladding products.

The Minister is calling on the states to follow Victoria’s lead and eradicate all dangerous combustible cladding products from the market – providing clarity to industry about what products they can use.

A consistent ban across Australia would boost confidence to the highly stressed Professional Indemnity insurance market. Without insurance, building practitioners cannot be registered and therefore cannot work legally.

Victoria is also calling on the Commonwealth to provide a safety net for the insurance market so practitioners can obtain the right insurance and consumers are protected.

This safety net should include a national fund to provide rectification for existing combustible cladding removal and a national reinsurance scheme to provide coverage for new construction.

Victoria is also requesting the Federal Government leads a national professional standards scheme for industry.

In Victoria, building surveyors can now obtain insurance with exclusions for cladding and is looking at extending this to other affected industry professionals. Consumer protection remains a priority.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“We need to take these dangerous products out of the market across the country to provide clarity for industry and confidence for consumers – this is a national problem and it needs a national solution.”

“While these products are still entering the country there is nothing to stop them being transported over borders and used illegally.”

“The professional indemnity insurance market is reaching crisis point – if we don’t act as a nation the building industry could be brought to its knees.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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