Cladding Safety Victoria Update: Keep Economy Moving
When cladding rectification funding was announced in Victoria last year, it marked the start of a world-first program which guides apartment owners through a complex process from start to finish. Now, we need to make sure our program adapts and evolves through the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have an opportunity to boost construction jobs as our whole economy grapples with the pandemic and help get more cladding off buildings much sooner.
Cladding Safety Victoria has already done exhaustive technical assessments of over 200 buildings. This has given us great confidence that we can increase the number of buildings where rectification can get underway. To help make that happen, our rectification program has been re-phased and funding brought forward so we can get more buildings out to market. Cladding Safety Victoria is also working with builders of good standing so they can come back and rectify works on their own projects.
Cladding Safety Victoria’s approach will provide a guaranteed pipeline of construction work, sending a strong message to the building and property sector – who employ almost one in ten Victorians – that protecting and creating jobs during COVID-19 is a high priority. We want to keep builders on the tools throughout these uncertain times, this way we are getting money into the market faster and bring forward cladding removal. For buildings in our program, we’re working closely with each owners corporation to discuss how we’re going to fix the problem cladding on their building.
In cases where builders are ineligible to participate, our existing process remains in place, and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will proceed with their cost recovery process so that practitioners found to have done the wrong thing are financially liable.
Strict vetting and oversight processes around practitioner conduct will provide robust assurance that the practitioner is able to work in the program.
Cladding Safety Victoria has already spoken extensively with owners corporations of eligible buildings and will continue working with apartment owners to find solutions to rectify issues with clad buildings across the state.
Owners corporations are under no obligation to agree to have the original builder return to complete the works. If the owners corporation does not agree to the original builder returning to complete the works, this will in no way impact the building’s eligibility for cladding rectification, and the works will be undertaken by a different builder. Cladding Safety Victoria will only engage with the original builder where the owners corporation is on board with this process.
For more information about Cladding Safety Victoria or this initiative, please visit our website: www.vic.gov.au/cladding-safety.