Sydney’s Flammable Cladding Needs Positive Action Now

The NSW government is yet to commit to a funding package to help owners replace flammable cladding across Sydney and NSW.

On Thursday Australia’s building ministers agreed to pursue nationally consistent building standards in an attempt to resolve the current cladding and defective properties issues.

The cladding issue is widespread across NSW with 600 building being identified as being at risk. It effects residential apartment towers, blocks of flats and commercial buildings like the Macquarie Bank building in Sydney, Mantra Hotel on Kent Street and the Star Casino.

The Victorian government’s recently announced a $600 million five year plan to fix 500 private buildings considered the highest risk of fire, which has provided some relief for owners and investors whose properties fall within the funding plan however, more will be needed to protect people and rid the State of flammable cladding.

The federal industry minister Karen Andrews has said it will be up to the states and territories to pay to remove the dangerous cladding.

The Victorian plan will raise $300 million to help pay for the project through an increase in a levy on building permits for larger building of works for more than $800,000. This has sparked a backlash from the members of the property sector fearful that levies will rise disproportionally and believe this is an unreasonable response (for them) given the buildings at risk had previously been lawfully approved under the Victorian building code.

In NSW the calls have been for a $1 billion funding package to help owners replace the flammable cladding, however the NSW government is remaining tight lipped NSW Better Regulation Minister Kevin Anderson refused to commit to matching the Victorian deal.

“We need to know the exact detail, it’s very difficult to put a number on the rectification when you don’t know what the detail is,” Mr Anderson told reporters in Sydney.

What we do know is this dangerous cladding issue is a widespread public safety issue so the sooner the state and federal governments work together to come up with a funding package and solution, the sooner we will all be better off, as this flammable cladding issue requires positive action now.

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