Home' Facility Perspectives : Vol 11 No 3 Contents FACILITY PERSPECTIVES | VOLUME 11 NUMBER 3
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Inearly 2016, the Victorian Building
Authority (VBA) reviewed a total of 260
buildings. The review aimed to determine
where noncompliant cladding had been used
on buildings in Melbourne, and it found that
51 per cent were noncompliant.
The VBA referred 83 buildings to the City
of Melbourne’s Municipal Building Surveyor
(MBS) for further investigations, which
were carried out in conjunction with the
Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB).
Following these investigations, a total of
60 buildings were confirmed to be safe to
occupy with no further action from the MBS,
and six buildings were referred back to the
VBA (due to being under their jurisdiction).
None of the buildings were issued with any
The City of Melbourne is continuing to
work with all the relevant building owners
and body corporates to guarantee that
remedial works to those buildings are taken,
as necessary. For example, this may consist
of installing other fire mitigations instead
of removing the cladding. Fire engineers
would need to conduct a detailed
assessment of other fire safety measures.
The VBA report stated that: ‘The
noncompliant buildings can still be
considered safe to live in if safety
measures, such as automatic sprinklers,
are put in place’.
The Victorian Cladding Taskforce
The new task force has declared that it will
strengthen the state’s ability to detect and
address noncompliant cladding, and to
ensure that residents, owners’ corporations
and building managers are better informed
about the issue.
Building surveyors, including municipal
building surveyors, commercial builders,
domestic builders, architects and building
designers, have been asked to clarify
the extent of the use of noncompliant
Cladding Taskforce Co-Chair John
Thwaites says, ‘We’ll be playing a key
role ensuring builders, architects, engineers,
surveyors and building owners and managers
are all aware of their responsibilities
The task force will oversee the continuing
review to identify where cladding has been
used inappropriately, and to ensure that
noncompliance is resolved as quickly and
as efficiently as possible. It will also make
recommendations to the government
about how to increase compliance and
enforcement of building regulations to better
protect the health and safety of occupants.
Cladding Taskforce Co-Chair Ted Baillieu
says, ‘This is a critical public safety issue
– agencies, stakeholders and all Victorians
need to work together to ensure that
cladding complies with our strict regulations,
and that buildings are safe’.
A stakeholder reference group made up of
organisations including building unions, the
Master Builders Association of Victoria and
the Housing Industry Association will also
Key agencies WorkSafe Victoria, the
Metropolitan Fire Brigade, the Victorian
Building Authority (VBA), the Municipal
Association of Victoria and Emergency
Management Victoria will all be represented
on the task force.
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne says,
‘We’re bringing together the key agencies
to better detect and address the issue of
materials used in a noncompliant way.
‘The Commonwealth has to play a
more active role, too. We’ll keep pushing
the federal government to better detect
nonconforming products entering Australia’.
The task force will provide an outline and
timetable for further work to the Minister
for Planning in October 2017. This will
inform the further program of work that
the task force will undertake.
Amendments to the Building Act
From 1 July 2018, or sooner if proclaimed,
new provisions in the Act will also allow
a body corporate or company to register
as a building practitioner with the VBA.
Companies already engaged in building
work may be held up for registration subject
to meeting certain criteria when the new
corporate registration scheme comes
CEO of VBA Prue Digby says, ‘As the
authority responsible for implementing these
changes, the VBA will use these powers
judiciously, and will continue to work closely
with the people we regulate to ensure
they’re aware of how these changes affect
their business, and that they are compliant
with the new regulations’.
Further information about the changes
that have come into effect can be found
on the VBA website, vba.vic.gov.au. To
find out more, email:
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