Spring Street announces bans on certain types of combustible cladding

The Victorian Government has announced it will ban the use of aluminium cladding panels that have a polyethylene core of more than 30% and expanded polystyrene will also be banned on buildings with 3 or more levels.

The changes were announced by the Planning Minister, Richard Wynne, on Saturday morning along with new guidelines for building surveyors.  The Victorian Cladding Taskforce, who made the recommendations, was set up in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster in London.

There’s nothing more important than public safety, which is why we’re cracking down on the use of dangerous materials on worksites.

We’re putting a stop to dangerous combustible cladding being used on Victorian buildings. This has been allowed to go on for too long and we’re ending it.

The rules are clear: if builders use these dangerous flammable products, they’ll face disciplinary action from the VBA.

Victorian Planning Minister, Richard Wynne

The Victorian Cladding Taskforce, which counted former premier Ted Ballieu and former deputy Premier John Thwaites as members, originally identified 1,369 buildings as most likely having aluminium cladding panels with a polyethylene core or expanded polystyrene but that figure has reduced.

A Spring media release states the taskforce established 579 buildings had not begun construction and a further 129 were only part way through construction.

The Victorian Building Authority has had its powers and resources beefed up and has purportedly assessed 87 buildings as part of a Victoria-wide audit.  If any building is to be found non-compliant, the VBA and municipal building surveyors will be issuing emergency orders to rectify building facades.

Speaking to the ABC, Wayne Liddy from the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors said the peak industry group wanted to see an increase in mandatory inspections.

Give us the rule book, the guidelines, and we can enforce it and administer these measures of compliance.

We want to see a nationally consistent approach to dealing with the cladding issue. At the moment we don't want to see political point scoring.

Wayne Liddy, speaking to the ABC

The state government has directed the Victorian Building Authority to increase its amount of inspections, up from 2% to 10% per year.   

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