In the wake of COVID-19, the Victorian Government (through Cladding Safety Victoria) has fast tracked its rectification works to get more combustible cladding off apartment buildings sooner. The fast-tracked funding will provide a guaranteed pipeline of construction work to the construction and property sector.
Cladding Safety Victoria was established by the Victorian Government following the horrific loss of property and life resulting from the Grenfell disaster in London in 2017, the LaCrosse building at Docklands in 2014 and the recent the Neo200 apartment building fire in the Melbourne CBD – all of which involved combustible cladding.
To proactively avoid these types of disasters occurring again, the Victorian government has provided Cladding Safety Victoria with $550 million to “make Victorians safer by reducing the risk associated with combustible cladding on residential apartment dwellings”.
In a recent state-wide audit carried out by the Victorian Building Authority, hundreds of buildings with some degree of combustible cladding were identified across Victoria. As each building faces its own unique issues, the rectification works program is designed to work with the owners corporations on the appropriate solution for that building.
As the program funding has now been brought forward, Cladding Safety Victoria expects that the time it will take to have rectification plans in place will be reduced from 33 weeks to 16 weeks – assuming the original builder is available to undertake the necessary rectification works. In cases where the original builder is unsuitable, unwilling or ineligible to participate in the program; the owners corporation will be required to select an alternative builder from the list of builders included in the Residential Cladding Rectification Register and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will pursue cost recovery against the original builder.
If you are a building owner or owners corporation who has received a building notice related to combustible cladding who requires assistance accessing this funding; or a builder who wants to be listed on the government approved register of professionals who can provide rectification services under this program, please contact a member of our Real Estate or Construction teams.
We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Ashesh Jalota to this article.