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Governments cooperating to ensure building safety

3 July 2017

Since the Lacrosse fire in Victoria, and his appointment to the Chair of the Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF), ensuring the safety of high-rise buildings has been front of mind for the Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Craig Laundy. 

Assistant Minister Laundy said public confidence in the built environment is essential and the National Construction Code is among the best in the world but it can’t be delivered without an appropriate compliance regime.

There needs to be an emphasis by the state and territory regulators across the country to stamp out any non-compliant installation of building products, such as combustible cladding on high-rise buildings.

The BMF met on Friday and the issues relating to compliance and building regulations were discussed.

The Australian Government, through the BMF, is willing to work with state and territory governments to develop a national strategic response to address the risks associated with the non-compliant installation of building products.

To this end the Prime Minister has asked Premiers and Chief Ministers to urgently audit their high-rise buildings. The BMF also agreed to engage an expert to examine broader compliance and enforcement issues.

The BMF is implementing a number of measures, including improving state and territory regulations to provide enhanced powers to respond to the use of non-conforming building products.

“It’s essential that all governments work together to make sure our builders not only have the right products to do their job, but are also using the right products for the job, to ensure we can provide continued confidence in Australia’s built environment,” Assistant Minister Laundy said.

“I want to assure the public that the Australian Government will continue to encourage the states and territories to work with us to improve their compliance regimes to prevent further instances of non-compliant wall cladding impacting the safety of Australia’s high‑rise buildings.

“Put simply, a Grenfell apartment block would not comply with Australia’s National Construction Code. We need to ensure compliance with that Code so that such disasters do not occur in Australia,” Mr Laundy said.

Further information on the BMF can be found at: www.industry.gov.au/industry/IndustrySectors/buildingandconstruction/