Cladding checks funded in the budget

By Kathryn Lewis

$25 million in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 will be given to authorities in a bid to tackle combustible cladding found on 1400 buildings across the state.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the latest move would give authorities the resources to inspect more buildings.

“We’re getting on top of the issue, building by building,” he said.

The Victorian Cladding Taskforce, established last year, will receive $4.3 million in funding to continue to uncover the extent of the issue across Victoria.

A further $16.5 million will be given to the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to complete a statewide audit of buildings and increase inspections.

The taskforce has determined 1369 sites with planning or building permits that need to be assessed by the VBA. Half of the priority sites have already been inspected.

The budget includes $4.2 million to increase penalties and make legislative change to ensure residents are not at risk.

The funding aims to send a message to builders that relying on cheap, dangerous materials will result in suspension or a cancelled licence.

In March, Mr Wynne issued ministerial guidelines banning the dangerous types of combustible cladding that contributed to the spread of the Lacrosse building fire in LaTrobe St, Docklands, in 2014.

Aluminium Cladding Panels with a polyethylene core of more than 30 per cent have been banned on all multi-storey buildings. Expanded polystyrene has also been banned.

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