Frequently Asked Questions about the cladding crisis in Victoria, what caused it, what’s being done about it, and where you can go for more information.
As events in London and Melbourne have shown, all-to-tragically, certain types of cladding can burn rapidly if it catches alight. Two materials, Aluminium composite panels or ‘ACP’ and Expanded polystyrene or ‘EPS’ have been identified as high-risk. These have a greater than acceptable potential to ignite and cause rapid vertical fire to spread via the façade or external wall. Since cladding is the skin around a building, being encased in combustible cladding poses critical risks to the occupants of buildings.
Lead by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA), the Victorian State Government has established a taskforce to conduct a statewide audit to identify buildings with combustible cladding belonging to the highest-risk categories. Additionally, a dedicated body, Cladding Safety Victoria has been formed to help Victorians understand cladding safety and gain access to resources and funding.
The Victorian government, through The Victorian Building Authority, has established Cladding Safety Victoria. Cladding Safety Victoria is tasked with providing information, conducting assessments, and allocating funding available to eligible candidates. People seeking more detailed information about cladding regulations, compliance, and funding eligibility should visit the Cladding Safety Victoria and Victorian Building Authority websites.
According to the priorities set by the Victorian Cladding Taskforce, if your building was built after March 1997 and is three or more stores high, it is likely to be assessed. Building owners, owner’s corporations, and other relevant building management firms will be advised by the Victorian Building Authority prior to inspection and residents will be informed on the day of inspection. If you do not belong to one of the three high-risk categories targeted by the Victorian Cladding Taskforce, you can still enquire about your building’s safety by accessing building plans and drawing from your local council. This may provide additional information about the building materials used upon construction.
Ultimately, it is building owners, owners corporations, and building management groups who bear the responsibility for ensuring appropriate assessments are performed. Elements Cladding can assist in putting you in touch with specialists in non-compliant cladding inspection and identification who can assist in determining the presence of flammable cladding and assessing the risk it poses.
If tenants are concerned about whether their building has combustible cladding, or whether their building owner has responded to the requirements under new regulations, they should seek further information from their landlord, managing agent, or owner’s corporation. Also, you can ask for access to building documents such as permits and drawings from your local council or the relevant building surveyor.
People seeking more detailed information about cladding regulations, compliance, and funding eligibility, should visit the Cladding Safety Victoria and Victorian Building Authority websites.