Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a $600 million fund to rectify issues around high-risk cladding. A request for the federal government to join the initiative with an additional $300 million in funding has; however, been denied with federal industry minister Karen Andrews saying the commonwealth “is not an ATM for the states”.
The fund will cover rectification works on hundreds of buildings, found to have high-risk cladding, to make sure they’re safe and compliant with all building regulations.
The program will be overseen by a new agency, Cladding Safety Victoria, which will manage funding and work with owners’ corporations from start to finish.
The State 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.
The taskforce was established in 2017 to identify how many buildings had combustible cladding and 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.
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 those whose buildings are at the greatest risk.
The government will also review the state’s Building Act to identify what legislative change is needed to strengthen the system and better protect consumers.
For more information, including a copy of the Victorian Cladding Taskforce’s final report, visit https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/building-policy/victorian-cladding-taskforce
Image credit: 123RF's jovannig © 123RF