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Thu May 23 2019

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Queensland extends deadlines for identifying combustible cladding

15 May The government of Queensland in Australia has announced a two-month extension in deadlines for a programme introduced to address potentially combustible cladding in the wake of the Grenfell fire.

Queensland has taken action in the wake of the Grenfell fire
Queensland has taken action in the wake of the Grenfell fire

The extension of the deadlines for the Safer Buildings Program follows meetings of the minister for housing and public works Mick de Brenni with construction industry bodies and engagement with the property sector. It also follows the minister’s request to the Queensland Building & Construction Commission to examine allegations that some building professionals were possibly charging exorbitant fees to property owners to check their building for combustible cladding.

The programme was set up in response to the Grenfell Tower fire in England.

The government will now provide an extension to the compliance period for Part 2 and Part 3a of its Safer Buildings Program to give more time to meet deadlines around identifying buildings with potentially combustible cladding.

The minister said that the two-month extension recommended by the property sector and backed in by the construction industry would see the stage 2 deadline extended to 31st July 2019 and Part 3a until 31st October 2019.

“Building owners, particularly bodies corporate, will now benefit from an extension to complete the checklist,” said de Brenni. “Property owners now have additional time and they are encouraged to ‘shop around’ and get their buildings assessed at a competitive price.

“This is about ensuring building owners are able meet their obligations to occupants, by giving them time to engage an industry professional.

“The Queensland Government will also provide additional technical information, as some building professionals reported difficulty interpreting the definitions in the regulations. This is about market certainty and creating a level playing field to adopt a wide-reaching approach so that all property owners are certain that their buildings are safe and secure.”

Simon Barnard, president of Strata Community Association (Qld) welcomed the time extension. In Australia, a strata title allows individual ownership of part of a property combined with shared ownership in the remainder through a legal entity called the owners corporation, body corporate, strata company or community association. “Bodies corporate require time to make collective decisions in a compliant manner and it has been difficult for many lot owners to do so," said Barnard. "Every resident in a strata building has the right to be safe in their own home and the assessment of the materials at Part 2 will ensure hazardous materials are identified but safe buildings are exited from the checklist.”

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