The Victorian Government has announced a $600 million package to fix buildings with combustible cladding.
The grants will fund rectification works on hundreds of buildings, found to have high-risk cladding, to make sure they’re safe and compliant with all building regulations.
In a joint announcement Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews and Planning Minister, Richard Wynne, said the works will be overseen by a new agency known as Cladding Safety Victoria.
The new agency will manage funding and work with owners corporations from start to finish.
Wynne said the cladding problem isn't just about safety but it's also about fairness.
“It’s about fairness for people who bought apartments in good faith and were let down by dodgy builders or dangerous building products,” he said.
The government will directly fund half of the rectification works and will introduce changes to the building permit levy to raise the other $300 million over the next five years.
Rectification of buildings with high-risk cladding and the establishment of a dedicated cladding agency were key recommendations from the final report from the Victorian Cladding Taskforce released earlier today.
The Taskforce was established in 2017 to identify how many buildings had combustible cladding and to find potential solutions to fix them. The Taskforce has also recommended the Victorian Government seek a contribution from the Commonwealth to help fund rectification, as combustible cladding is a national problem.
“Combustible cladding is a national problem and we want the Federal Government to be part of the solution here in Victoria,” the Premier said.
The Taskforce, headed by former Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu and former Deputy Premier John Thwaites, has worked with the Victorian Building Authority to identify 15 buildings that will have their cladding fixed first.
Work on these high-risk buildings was funded in the Victorian Budget 2019/20 and will begin in the coming weeks.
Cladding Safety Victoria will also be contacting owners corporations and property owners shortly, starting with buildings that are at greatest risk.
The government will also review the state’s Building Act to identify what legislative changes are needed to strengthen the system and better protect consumers.