The Andrews Labor Government will pursue dodgy building practitioners on behalf of owners of apartments covered in combustible cladding.
The Building Amendment (Cladding Rectification) Bill 2019, introduced to Parliament today, includes a provision to allow the State to chase wrongdoers through the courts in cases where the State pays for rectification costs.
This legislation will give the Government the ability to pursue building practitioners, meaning unsuspecting victims don’t have to spend their own time and money keeping builders who have done the wrong thing accountable.
Any financial returns will be reinvested into the $600 million cladding rectification program, administered by Cladding Safety Victoria.
The new law will still allow apartment owners affected by combustible cladding to take legal action against building practitioners for other building defects.
The legislation also introduces the building levy announced in July, which will be used to fund $300 million of the rectification program after the Commonwealth Government failed to contribute.
The building levy applies to new permits for multi storey buildings valued at more than $800,000, excluding single dwellings, developments in regional Victoria and schools and hospitals. Other projects such as social housing may also be exempt.
The rectification program is expected to take five years to complete.
The Victorian Building Authority has suspended two builders and surveyors over the installation of non-compliant cladding and has issued nine show cause notices.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne
“We’re saving owners the time, hassle and expense of chasing dodgy builders through the courts.”
“These apartment owners find themselves in this situation through no fault of their own. They shouldn’t have to deal with the cost and stress that court action can mean – so we’re pursuing wrongdoers on their behalf.”
“Combustible cladding is a national problem and we’re disappointed the Commonwealth Government has decided not to be part of the solution here in Victoria.”