Architects welcome Victorian combustible cladding response

Architects welcome Victorian combustible cladding response

The Australian Institute of Architects has welcomed the Andrews Government’s action on combustible cladding, and repeated its call for urgent national reforms.

Victorian Chapter President Amy Muir said the announcement today of a $600 million package of rectification works for buildings found to have flammable cladding was a sensible and overdue step.

‘The Institute has been calling for urgent action on flammable cladding and building safety for years,’ Ms Muir said.

‘We commend the Andrews Government for their action which puts people’s safety first.

‘We welcome these practical measures to replace combustible cladding and fix buildings to ensure safety and compliance with all building regulations. This work had to be done and we are relieved to see the Victorian Government stepping up and getting on with the job.

‘Victoria has set the benchmark and now it is time for other states and territories to take similar action in a nationally consistent manner with support from the Commonwealth Government.’

The Institute has called repeatedly for the full and immediate implementation of last year’s Shergold Weir Building Confidence report, which sets out a path to building safety in a consistent way.

The Institute agrees with its recommendations, including strict controls Australia-wide on the use and sale of combustible cladding, rigorous enforcement of existing safety and certification laws, more thorough examination of materials, and the registration of practitioners in building design, construction and maintenance.

‘Ahead of this week’s Building Ministers’ Forum, it is imperative there is national action on flammable cladding and other urgent safety issues,’ she said.

‘Jurisdictions know what they need to do. Community safety and confidence is paramount and it is being put at risk when these vital reforms are delayed.’

The Victorian Cladding Taskforce said there were almost 500 buildings considered extreme risk or high risk. A new agency, Cladding Safety Victoria, will manage and oversee the works.