Victoria considers laws to recoup money from dangerous cladding builders

Victoria considers laws to recoup money from dangerous cladding builders
Victoria considers laws to recoup money from dangerous cladding builders

The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says the government is on the verge of unveiling a “substantial” package of reforms to tackle the cladding issue.

It will possibly include “quite extraordinary” new laws to try to recoup money from builders who used dangerous materials.

"There will have to be taxpayers' money, there will have to be government allocations."

"There can potentially be some money — some — recovered from those who have done this, have basically committed these errors and have used this dodgy product," he said.

"We've had a situation where a whole range of phoenix companies, they exist for the purposes of building that particular building, and then they're gone at law afterwards," Mr Andrews said.

"We don't rule out making some legislative changes so that we can go out after some of these phoenix companies."

Mr Andrews acknowledged unit owners had been "basically stranded" and unable to sell their properties while investigations were ongoing.

Andrews confirmed the government would set up a new agency called Cladding Safety Victoria, which is billed as a one-stop-shop for advice and assistance.

The government’s reforms will be unveiled in the coming weeks as it waits on the final report from the state’s cladding taskforce.

It is more than four years since flammable cladding ­fuelled a blaze at the Lacrosse building in Docklands.

Meanwhile the Herald Sun reported the rogue developers who illegally demolished the historic Corkman Pub have built at least two apartment complexes with flammable cladding.

The Opposition says the “Corkman cowboys” must be prevented from working in the industry.

The Herald Sun revealed that a 200-apartment development in Lygon St, BRUNSWICK EAST, has been assessed as a “moderate risk” because of the use of flammable cladding.

It was developed by MakShaq, with company records showing Raman Shaqiri and Stefce Kutlesovski are directors.

The same company is behind another apartment block in Hawthorn that was inspected in April and had emergency rectification orders issued in May.

Australia's peak insurance body says there are no plans to increase property ­premiums on the back of the combustible cladding row.

The Insurance Council Australia has called for a nationwide solution.

After Victoria confirmed its number of affected buildings was 800 plus, and some 450 in NSW as "high risk," the Strata Community Association president Andrew Chambers said the Federal Government had to step up.

The Australian Financial Review reported the dire state of Australia's professional indemnity insurance market for building certifiers and surveyors was revealed in confidential research by PwC showing the sector has been unprofitable since 2011, with nearly $3.43 paid out in claims for every $1 received.

The ABC reported recently the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told a Property Council lunch that the state had stepped in as an insurer of last resort in the past for other sectors. 

"I am very much aware of how real this issue is," Mr Andrews said. 

But the problem, he said, was not unique to Victoria.

"The feds should be involved, that would be good, but we won't let anybody be uninsured. There are some steps we can take," Mr Andrews said.



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