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FPA Australia welcomes building safety probes

Posted on : Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) warmly welcomes the announcement today of two government probes into the compliance and enforcement challenges facing fire safety in Australia's building and construction sector.

 

The Victorian Government unveiled today the establishment of a taskforce to investigate the public safety threat from buildings with combustible cladding, particularly high-rise apartments. The taskforce will be led by former Victorian Liberal premier Ted Baillieu and former Labor deputy premier John Thwaites, and will speed up the assessment of thousands of buildings across Victoria for unsafe cladding. Importantly, the taskforce will also make recommendations on improving industry compliance with building acts, regulations, codes and standards.

 

The Building Ministers' Forum (BMF), held last Friday, also announced today it will commission an expert report to examine the broad compliance and enforcement problems within the building and construction sector. The probe is in response to concerns raised following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London last month.

 

Under the direction of the BMF, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) will also fast-track implementation of measures through the National Construction Code (NCC) to prevent future non-compliant use of building cladding.

 

The new probes have the potential to prompt a robust and much-needed discussion about the fire safety of Australian buildings, said FPA Australia CEO Scott Williams.

 

"We're encouraged that these new initiatives demonstrate the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments' commitment to addressing the risk from non-compliant buildings," said Mr Williams.

 

"It's important we have a rigorous process to identify these buildings, mitigate the risk they pose in the short term, and rectify the problems over the longer term."

 

"Through the ABCB and the NCC, Australia has some of the best building codes in the world. The key challenge for the industry is the compliance and enforcement of those codes, which needs minimum competency requirements and ongoing education in industry."

 

FPA Australia remains committed to working with all government and stakeholders to ensure there is consumer and industry confidence in the quality and safety of Australian buildings.

 

To read the full communique from the Building Ministers' Forum click here.

 

To read the Victorian Government's taskforce announcement click here.

 

For more information call FPA Australia on 03 8892 3118.