In October, the Victorian Cladding Taskforce released its updated findings from its audit of 1369 buildings and planning permits. These results have been keenly awaited, in order to reassure the industry that the number of high-risk buildings of the magnitude of Lacrosse or Grenfell Tower was nowhere near 1369.
Consultants who came to our seminar with the VBA on 12 September had already had a sneak preview of these findings. As expected, only a portion of the audited buildings were found to be high risk.
Some key take-away points were:
- The number of 1369 non-compliant buildings was already misleadingly high. A third of that number were planning permits for buildings that had not yet been built.
- Of these 1369 buildings, 770 were referred to an expert panel for further determination and, of those, 44 were placed in a higher risk category.
- 12 emergency orders have been issued requiring short-term remediation work to make buildings safe to occupy, such as installing warning systems and sprinklers.
- 150 “show cause” notices have been issued, requiring the relevant owners corporation to provide evidence of why their building is safe (or, if they cannot do so, to remove the cladding)
- The above figures all relate to private property. Separately, the Victorian State Government has audited about 4,700 state government buildings, of which 384 potentially have combustible cladding. 21 have been placed on a higher risk list, but all have had emergency measures put in place so that they are safe to occupy.
- The Government expects to appoint a State Building Surveyor in December.
A piece of good news is that the Taskforce is nearing completion of a rectification framework to regulate how non-compliant buildings should be rectified. This should provide much needed guidance for building owners and consultants.
Come to our Year in Review round-up on 14 November for a one-hour update on some of the year’s main developments, including cladding, unfair contracts legislation, and personal liability for stat decs. Or read the Taskforce’s full update here.