Five years on from the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy and the Strata Community Association (SCA) says there is still more work to do when it comes to the removal of combustible cladding in Australia.
The peak property body has called on states and territories to act.
The job of rectification and the removal of dangerous products from the Australian market is incomplete, according to SCA national president, Chris Duggan.
Whilst most state and territory governments have begun the process of rectification and the removal of dangerous products, there is still a long way to go.
“Most jurisdictions have banned the relevant dangerous products, it is important to note that these products were generally used for purely aesthetic reasons and did not enhance the structural integrity of buildings, there is no reason for them to be placed on a building ever again,” he said.
Duggan said significant progress has been made by the two largest states, New South Wales, and Victoria.
“In my home state of New South Wales, Project Remediate, a joint venture between the New South Wales Cladding Taskforce and Fire and Rescue New South Wales has audited over 185,000 building records and inspected over 4,000 buildings to date,” he said.
“Rectification works are underway for the most at risk buildings and I am pleased to see that the Minister believes rectification of all high risk buildings will occur by the end of 2023, this is a great step forward for NSW.
“The Victorian Government has put $600 million on the table through Cladding Safety Victoria and will potentially provide funding for many of the higher risk, class 2 residential buildings authorities have identified after a state-wide audit. “
“Victoria has a clear 10 step process for rectification, and we hope the roll out of this program continues to go well. The scale of investment by the Victorian Government is extremely pleasing to see.”
Unfortunately, Queensland is lagging behind although Parliament recently passed a bill to make enforcement of current compliance provisions easier.
Duggan noted the scale of the problem was nowhere near as large in any of the other jurisdictions across Australia, but this doesn’t mean action shouldn’t be taken.
“With more than 90 affected buildings, I really hope the ACT government accelerates their program which is already underway,” he said.
The ACT has introduced the Private Buildings Cladding Scheme which includes a rebate which is capped at $20,000.
Duggan said South Australia is still at the starting line although only 28 buildings were identified in the government’s audit.
“Western Australia started with a smaller problem than the eastern states and has made rapid strides. There are only a handful of buildings remaining and the government has made tremendous progress,” he said.
“We encourage them to work hard to get the last of the cladding off and be the first state to declare mission accomplished on this issue.”
The Grenfell Tower fire in London took place on 14 June, 2017 and 72 residents died.