Victorians living in high rise buildings will be better protected from the threat of deadly cladding fires, with more inspections than ever before.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 includes $25 million to give authorities the resources they need to check more buildings for dangerous and combustible materials – and crack down on builders who flout the law.
The Victorian Cladding Taskforce was established last year to address a culture of non-compliance in the construction sector and detect the extent of combustible cladding on Victorian buildings. The Budget includes $4.3 million for the Taskforce to continue its work.
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is charged with the task of assessing 1,369 priority sites with planning or building permits identified by the Taskforce.
The Budget includes $16.5 million for the VBA to conduct its state-wide audit and to increase its inspection and enforcement regime – in a clear warning to builders that if they break the rules, they will be caught.
The Budget includes $4.2 million to increase penalties and make legislative change to ensure Victorians aren’t at risk of deadly cladding disasters – sending a message to building practitioners that if they cut corners or rely on cheap, dangerous materials that puts lives at risk, their licences will be suspended or cancelled.
The VBA has now inspected more than half of the completed buildings prioritised by the Victorian Cladding Taskforce, and the Government has already banned certain types of cladding.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne:
“We’re giving authorities the tools and resources needed to inspect more buildings and keep Victorians safe from cladding fires.”
“Events in London have shown that cladding fires can have deadly consequences – and cities right around the world are not immune.”
“We’re getting on top of the issue, building by building.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020