Most dangerous types of combustible cladding to be banned from use on Victorian buildings

THE Victorian Government will ban the most dangerous types of combustible cladding from being used on Victorian buildings, after Planning Minister Richard Wynne last week released new ministerial guidelines to building surveyors with a focus on buildings where people sleep or gather.

Under the guidelines, which were a key recommendation of the Victorian Cladding Taskforce, Aluminium Cladding Panels with a polyethylene core of more than 30 per cent will be banned on all multi-storey buildings. Expanded polystyrene will also be banned.

The Taskforce was established by the State Government in July 2017 to investigate the extent of non-compliant external wall cladding on buildings and to make recommendations for improvements to protect the public and restore confidence that building and fire safety issues are being addressed appropriately.

Victorian Cladding Taskforce Interim Report - November 2017

An interim report released by the Taskforce in November 2017 concluded that systems failures led to major safety risks and widespread non-compliant use of combustible cladding in the building industry across the state.

The Taskforce originally identified 1,369 buildings as most likely having Aluminium Cladding Panels with a polyethylene core or Expanded Polystyrene, but that figure is decreasing. Of those buildings, it has since been established that 579 have not begun construction, and a further 129 are half built.

The new ministerial guidelines are one of a number of measures announced by the State Government, with other measures including the appointment of a State Building Inspector and an increase in the number of inspections of worksites and buildings by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).

If buildings are found to be non-compliant, the VBA and Municipal Building Surveyors are issuing emergency orders, ensuring additional measures are put in place to meet the highest standards of safety.

Mr Wynne has directed the VBA to issue a product safety alert, and building practitioners who ignore this directive will face disciplinary action from the VBA.

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