Scumbag Property Council lashes Victorian flammable cladding levy

The rent-seeking Property Council has attacked the Victorian Government’s $600 million funding package to remove dangerous flammable cladding, claiming the $300 million building levy “risks massive cost increases”:

The Property Council has welcomed the Victorian Government’s plan for the rectification of cladding affected buildings but has warned that a 700 per cent increase in building levies would add untenable costs to new construction projects in that state.

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to take action on cladding rectification and its commitment of $300 million for the task, but we are deeply concerned about the impact of the proposed huge increase in the Building Permit Levy to help fund the plan,” said Matthew Kandelaars, Victorian Deputy Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia.

“The Government is proposing a 700 per cent increase in the levy for new buildings valued at more than $1.5 million.

“For works as low as $800,000, it is proposed the levy rate will double. These are not big building projects by any stretch.

“The increases which are being proposed for new projects are disproportionate and unreasonable when you consider that the buildings being targeted for rectification have previously been lawfully approved under the Victorian building code.

“We understand and support the imperative to strengthen public confidence in construction and building safety and address the looming insurance crisis.

“However, a unilateral and massive increase in construction costs is not the answer.

This is disgusting behaviour from the Property Council. Victorian taxpayers are earmarked to pay half of the $600 million in rectification works – amounting to around $230 per household – with the building industry required to pay half via the levy.

It was the building industry that caused this mess in the first place, so they should thank taxpayers for bailing them out, rather than whinging about having to foot half the cost.

As usual, the Property Council expects its members to privatise all of the profits from development, while the costs are socialised across the broader community.

Leith van Onselen


    • Yes Harry & his mates haven’t done anything wrong, they followed all the rules & regs & provided cheap & affordable housing & investment opportunities making Vic the envy of the world. In fact tsx payers probably should pay their pollies & governing bodies a bonus.

    • haroldusMEMBER

      Good point, $230 per household is far too little.

      What would even be better is if teh Daniel govt borrowed at classically low interest rates, to visit the debt on the remaining children of legacy citizens.

  1. Plan for success. Introduce industry self regulation. When the system inevitably blows up from corruption and cost cutting, penalise the general public. They should introduce self regulation into the tax system. They can trust us, surely.

    • DominicMEMBER

      On a serious note, the problem with regulation is that the State becomes de facto ‘insurer’ of whatever product or service it is that is being regulated. Thus the Victorian Govt feeling obliged to stand a hefty chunk of taxpayer cash.

      If the State didn’t regulate the building of units at all, the building industry would have to prove to the banks and buyers that its product was of exceptional quality — if they were unable to do this, they wouldn’t get finance from the banks and they wouldn’t have any buyers even if they could fund it.

      Instead we have buyers blundering in to purchases and doing ZERO due diligence on builders or the building itself, cause, you know: “the Gubbermint has my back.” This is a classic example of moral hazard.

  2. If all those building inspectors that signed off on this stuff are required to have insurance then why isn’t the insurance companies paying for the rectification.

    • That is a really good question…and the answer may be (repeat may be) that they did nothing wrong and are not liable.

  3. Where is the crime here? What is the crime? I am serious I don’t get it. Building companies use (flammable) cladding which is freely available. It is not a crime to sell it or buy it. Councils sign off on projects which detail what materials are being used. Building process is signed off by certified engineers and inspectors. People now want builders to pay. For What?
    If anyone is inept it is the gubbermint.

    • However, imagine putting inflammable cladding on a high rise multi story building and not thinking ‘it may catch fire and kill 100’s of people one day”? I would be wary about having this stuff on a shed. May not be illegal but surely morally wrong at best and should in fact something that can be retrospectively litigated against. (time to change the laws on incorporated companies to do away with the immunity of directors long after they have folded the company)
      How many buildings were built with this cladding after the first Melbourne high rise fire in/on the Lacrosse building in Docklands in 2014 which was the first time we became aware of it.