The Victorian government will introduce a blanket ban on the use of flammable cladding on all buildings of two storeys or more. Breaches of the new rules, which will take effect on 1 February, will incur financial penalties of up to $80,000 for an individual and $400,000 for a company.
The ban has been introduced in the wake of fires at several high-rise apartment buildings in the Melbourne CBD and the Docklands precinct in recent years, as well as the Grenfell Tower fire in London.
From The ABC:
There are 894 words left in this subscriber-only article.
Start your free 14-day trial today!
“These products are a high risk when used inappropriately or installed incorrectly. That’s why we’ve acted to ban them for new multi-storey buildings,” [Victoria’s Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne] said in a statement.
“This ban will ensure new developments are built to the highest standard to keep Victorians safe.”
The prohibited materials will not be allowed for use on apartment buildings, hotels, aged care facilities and other residential buildings with two or more storeys.
The ban also applies to office buildings, retail premises such as shopping centres, warehouses, factories and car parks with three or more storeys.
“We’re continuing to act on the most up-to-date expert advice on cladding products, and anyone caught flouting this ban will face significant penalties,” Mr Wynne said…
Mr Wynne called on other states and territories to take a co-ordinated, national response to the issue.
“We would’ve hoped of course that other states, particularly up the eastern seaboard, would’ve followed us and I’ve tried to persuade my colleagues in other states who’ve also got this problem of combustible cladding to join us but unfortunately they’ve been unwilling to do so,” he said…
The Victorian Government said a cost-benefit analysis found the ban would result in a net economic benefit of around $1 million per year in reduced insurance costs.
This is obviously good news, but is equivalent to shutting the gate after the horse has already bolted.
There are an estimated 1200 buildings in Victoria with risky levels of flammable cladding that were included on the government’s removal list.
Victorian taxpayers have also been slugged $600 million to fix the cladding on private apartments, equating to around $230 per Victorian household.
Those who profited from these dodgy buildings should be required to fix them at their own expense, not taxpayers.