Cladding Safety Victoria to be established by Andrews Government

Cladding Safety Victoria to be established by Andrews Government
Cladding Safety Victoria to be established by Andrews Government

The Andrews Government is set to establish Cladding Safety Victoria.

It will oversee the removal of combustible cladding from buildings to make them safe.

The word of the new government body emerged on 3AW, which did not advise on the means of the funding of the removal.

Property Observer gathers Cladding Safety Victoria (CSV) will act as a "one-stop-shop for advice and assistance to the community in relation to the removal of combustible cladding."

It will provide funding for owners to help them fix their building’s cladding by providing guidance, funding and connections to the right experts who can fix their buildings.

It will select the buildings for rectification after an expert panel review with recommendations made to the Municipal Building Surveyor.

It will support building owners by providing funding for:

  • Project Management support
  • Draughts people or Architectural Services
  • Building Surveying
  • Permits and approvals
  • Building materials and work

It is not known if there will be a levy on the building industry to fund the new government section within the Victorian Building Authority.

Initial emergency orders have been issued on some apartment blocks. The rectification is likely to take up to six years before all apartments are deemed safe.

Currently the rectification process centres around the implementation of Cladding Rectification Agreements (CRAs), a three-way voluntary agreement between an owner or owners corporation, lender and council to fund cladding rectification works. The lender will loan the funds to an owner or owners corporation and loan repayments will be made over time through the council rates system.

There is a cladding taskforce currently seeking to review the extent of the problem after Melbourne’s Lacrosse apartment towers caught fire in 2014.

The Lacrosse block was completed in 2012. LU Simon was ordered to pay $5.7 million to the owners of apartments of the Lacrosse tower earlier this year.

Initially up to 1400 Victorian buildings could have reportedly had potentially dangerous panelling according to the Victorian Cladding Taskforce, chaired by former premier Ted Baillieu and former deputy premier John Thwaites.

Created in 2017 after the London Grenfell fire, it is set to report in coming weeks.

The taskforce audit inspected 1,800 buildings and already identified 71 as "extreme" risk and 368 as "high" risk.

There are around 800 on the list with the search still underway. The cladding has been used by builders for the past two decades.

The councils with the most apartment blocks at risk are:

There was a fire in early 2019 at the Neo200 Spencer Street building which was a significant incident which had the potential to be very serious.

In Victoria, residents have a 10-year period to claim on the builders' warranty under the Domestic Building Contracts Act. 

The Victorian Government has previously budgeted money to fix government buildings with combustible cladding, but not private dwellings.

It has been estimated the removal costs across Australia could be of the order of $6.8 billion.

 

 

 

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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Melbourne Apartment Cladding

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