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Governments united in fire safety assurance efforts

21 July 2017

Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Craig Laundy says it’s disingenuous to pre-empt the work on building compliance being undertaken by the Australian, state and territory governments.

“I want to emphasise that all states and territory governments have responded positively to a request from the Prime Minister on 20 June to audit high-rise buildings to ensure they comply with the National Construction Code (NCC),” Mr Laundy said.

“The Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) is establishing the facts around the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the building and construction industry.

“This will be a detailed assessment commissioned by the state and territory ministers responsible for enforcing the safety standards set out in the NCC.

“States and territories are responsible for compliance and enforcement and they are doing the responsible thing by auditing the high rise buildings in their state to ensure the external cladding is non-combustible.

“It’s irresponsible fearmongering to claim that thousands of buildings have non-compliant panels.”

Mr Laundy said the BMF review would include a detailed and close examination of any compliance and enforcement problems within the building and construction systems across Australia that were affecting the implementation of the NCC.

“It will be a responsible review that, when all the verified information is in, will recommend strategies for improving compliance and enforcement to strengthen the effectiveness of implementation of the NCC,” Mr Laundy said.

“All governments are committed to working to ensure that Australians can trust and have faith in our built environment and the systems that underpin it.

“At the end of the day, I don’t hear any of my state and territory BMF counterparts trying to score cheap political points by making ill-informed claims such as there being thousands of buildings with non-compliant cladding.

“All governments have made a commitment through the BMF to work collaboratively and not to go off half-cocked on the basis of unproven claims.

Media contact: Mr Laundy’s office 02 6277 4345