Still no return possible for residents after Neo200, Spencer Street Melbourne cladding fire

Still no return possible for residents after Neo200, Spencer Street Melbourne cladding fire
Still no return possible for residents after Neo200, Spencer Street Melbourne cladding fire

Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne will push for a nationwide ban on combustible cladding at the Commonwealth building ministers’ meeting in ­Hobart today.

The consideration comes as the residents of the NEO200 building in Melbourne’s CBD face more than a fortnight of not being able to return to their homes after a cladding fire on Monday.

The Neo200 building in the CBD was evacuated when a discarded cigarette butt caused a cladding fire.

Following the blaze, Melbourne City Council's building surveyor issued an emergency order that said the building could not be occupied for 48 hours, but this was extended on Wednesday with most residents unlikely to be able to return home until February 20.

"Two additional Emergency Orders and a Show Cause Notice were issued by the Municipal Building Surveyor this afternoon to specify that the building should be vacant for up to a further 14 days," the council said.

The Australian reported Wynne was forced to concede that he was yet to appoint a state building inspector, 14 months after pledging to do so as part of a raft of measures aimed at ridding buildings of dangerous flammable cladding.

The cladding — which was responsible for the fatal Grenfell Tower fire in Britain in 2017 — remains in thousands of Victorian buildings.

Mr Wynne said he would call on state, territory and federal governments to support the ban.

“The Andrews Labor government has led the country in taking action against combustible cladding — introducing changes last year to give the Minister for Planning powers to ban the use of aluminium composite cladding on new multi-storey buildings and provide a low-cost financing ­option to help owners remove dangerous combustible cladding from their properties,” Mr Wynne said.

“The Victorian Cladding Taskforce, the Victorian Building Authority and local governments have also worked with building owners and residents to make buildings safe by completing emergency works such as removing cladding around fire exits and installing smoke alarms.”

Opposition planning spokesman Tim Smith said Mr Wynne’s number one priority was to remove the “dangerous, flammable cladding from existing buildings around Victoria”.

“There are 360 buildings in the most concerning category from the Andrews Labor Government’s cladding audit, and yet they still have not guaranteed that every single resident in those buildings has been informed that their home is at risk,” he said.

Designed by Hayball Architects for Becton, the building is distinguished by its yellow podium lights presenting to Spencer and Little Bourke Streets and its distinctive golden curvilinear foyer.

The building’s construction was completed in 2007 by LU Simon builders and was awarded the 2008 Master Builder Association’s – Excellence in Construction Award.

There was a small fire on New Year's Eve in 2015.

 

 

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Apartment Cladding Spencer Street

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