Building Cladding Crisis : The Government Response

There has been a huge amount of publicity around non-compliant building cladding but what does it all mean? Kerin Benson Lawyers has created a four part series explaining What the Building Cladding Crisis is about, the Governmental Response, Fire Safety Orders and Insurance. Below is the second of these Newsletters.

The Building Cladding Crisis has been met with responses from both Commonwealth and State governments.

This Newsletter summarises the responses from both the Commonwealth and NSW governments.

1. Commonwealth

a ) Commonwealth Parliament

On 23 June 2015, the Commonwealth Parliament Senate referred the matter of non-conforming building products to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report.[1]

In the light of the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, the Committee agreed to prepare an additional interim report on the implications of the use of non-compliant external cladding materials in Australia and on 6 September 2017 the ‘Interim Report: aluminium composite cladding’ was produced.[2]

This Interim Report contained 8 recommendations being:

i. Recommendation 1. The committee recommends the Australian government implement a total ban on the importation, sale and use of Polyethylene core aluminium composite panels as a matter of urgency.

Within a short time of the release of the Interim Report (ie on 11 September 2017), Senator Nick Xenophon introduced the Customs Amendment (Safer Cladding) Bill 2017 which intends to amend the Customs Act 1901 and ban the importation into Australia of polyethylene (PE) core aluminium composite panels. However, this Bill has not progressed very far.

Indeed, some of the problems outlined with the bill include:[3]

  • the bill does not define what constitutes a “polyethylene core aluminium composite panel”. Is it an Aluminium Composite Panel with a 30% PE core or one with a 100% PE core? and
  • it doesn’t address Aluminium Composite Panels with a PE core that are already within Australia or the use of Aluminium Composite Panels with a PE core.

ii. Recommendation 2. The committee recommends that the Commonwealth work with state and territory governments to establish a national licensing scheme, with requirements for continued professional development for all building practitioners.

The committee acknowledges that greater enforcement of existing regulations is needed. However, current building regulations appear inadequate and are too easily evaded, largely due to existing deemed-to-satisfy and performance-based pathways, which provide avenues to circumvent the Australian Standards in the National Construction Code.

The committee also considers that a national licencing scheme for all trades and professionals involved in the building and construction industry including building surveyors, building inspectors, builders and project managers, would improve compliance and provide greater consumer protection and public safety outcomes.

iii. Recommendation 3. The committee recommends that the Building Minister’s Forum give further consideration to introducing nationally consistent measures to increase accountability for participants across the supply chain.

The committee supported the implementation of nationally consistent mandatory on-site inspections throughout the construction process. Whether this is done though the reinstatement of the role of Clerk of Works or some other process is eventually a decision for governments.

In addition, the committee agreed that responsibility for building compliance was weighted too heavily at the end of the supply chain. Consequently, measures need to be put in place to ensure greater accountability across the supply chain.

iv. Recommendation 4. The committee strongly recommends that the Commonwealth consider making all Australian Standards and codes freely available.

In the committee’s view, making Australian Standards freely available would reduce the overall cost of compliance and insurance and most significantly, it will reduce the cost and impact on future state and territory emergency, fire and medical services.

v. Recommendation 5. The committee recommends the Commonwealth consider imposing a penalties regime for non-compliance with the National Construction Code such as revocation of accreditation or a ban from tendering for Commonwealth funded construction work and substantial financial penalties.

The committee considers that the Federal Safety Commissioner (FSC) has an important role in ensuring compliance with the National Construction Code on Commonwealth funded projects but is concerned that it is not adequately resourced.

vi. Recommendation 6. The committee recommends the Commonwealth ensure the Federal Safety Commissioner is adequately resourced to ensure the office is able to carry out its duties in line with the new audit function and projected work flow.

vii. Recommendation 7. The committee welcomes the Commonwealth’s decision to give further consideration to Director Identification Numbers and recommends that it expedites this process in order to prevent directors from engaging in illegal phoenix activity.

The committee is concerned that it has been nearly two years since its report on insolvency in the construction industry was tabled and the Productivity Commission’s report was released and considers that a Director Identification Numbers (DIN) initiative should be considered as a matter of urgency. A DIN initiative would go some way to preventing directors engaging in illegal phoenix activity.

viii. Recommendation 8. The committee recommends that state and territory governments work together to develop a nationally consistent statutory duty of care protection for end users in the residential strata sector.

The committee believes that there needs to be a greater awareness and protection for consumers in the residential strata sector. The committee considers there is an urgent need to provide a statutory duty of care to cover the discovery of non-compliant or non-conforming building products for the increasing number of the Australian public who purchase residential apartments.

It should be noted that the above eight recommendations are only recommendations and derive from an interim report.

In February 2018, the Australian Government response to the Interim Report: Aluminium Composite Cladding was released and responded to each of the above recommendations. The responses ranged from Supported, Supported in Principle and Noted to Not Supported.

Prior to December 2017, Craig Laundy was the Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science and as such, was responsible for this issue. Upon his move to another portfolio, concerns have been raised that any progress on this issue will flounder. However, the Office of Mr Laundy has confirmed that he retains responsibility for this issue.

The Economics References Committee is expected to hand down its Final Inquiry Report on 30 April 2018.

b) Building Ministers Forum

The Building Ministers Forum (BMF) (a body of Commonwealth, state and territory Ministers responsible for building and plumbing policy and regulation) oversees the implementation of nationally consistent building and plumbing regulations through the 2015 Intergovernmental Agreement for the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB). The Building Ministers Forum meets annually or on a needs basis[4] and is responsible for setting the regulatory agenda for both the administration of building control and reforms to the National Construction Code.

At the end of June 2017, the Building Ministers Forum announced that it:[5]

  • would direct the Australian Building Codes Board to expedite the implementation of measures through the National Construction Code to prevent the non-compliant use of cladding;
  • has directed the finalisation of the implementation of the recommendations set out in the Strategies to Address Risks Related to Non-Conforming Building Products report published in 2016, particularly the establishment of a national forum of building regulators;
  • has, with the Australian Building Codes Board, created a website providing information about non-compliant building products and allowing members of the public to submit a complaint or enquiry about a product (see https://www.abcb.gov.au/NCBP/Non-conforming-building-products); and
  • will commission a report by an independent expert on the compliance and enforcement problems affecting the implementation of the National Construction Code.

On 24 August 2017 it was announced that Professor Peter Shergold AC and Ms Bronwyn Weir had been commissioned as experts to assess the compliance and enforcement problems within the building and construction systems across Australia that are affecting the implementation of the National Construction Code.[6]

c) Australian Building Codes Board

On 14 August 2017, the Australian Building Codes Board announced that the National Construction Code would be amended out-of-cycle prior to the next scheduled edition of the National Construction Code in 2019. The key aspects of the amendment cover:[7]

  • a new verification method that adopts the external wall testing standard, AS 5113;
  • improving the evidence of suitability provisions;
  • clarifying the Deemed-to-Satisfy provisions relating to the fire performance of external walls; and
  • referencing an updated sprinkler standard, AS 2118.

Feedback on the public comment draft of the NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1 was due on 10 September 2017, with the amendment’s anticipated adoption from 12 March 2018.[8]

2. State Response – NSW

Following the Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017, each State and Territory in Australia (with the exception of the Northern Territory) announced audits, or the extension of existing audits, into Aluminium Composite Panels.[9] We shall focus on the New South Wales response.

In the immediate aftermath of the Lacrosse Apartments fire, the NSW Government conducted an audit of buildings affected by combustible cladding and found that the number of buildings at risk could be between 1,500 to 2,500[10] although this figure was later disputed by the NSW Minister for Emergency Services, Troy Grant. Mr Grant indicated that the number of buildings fitted with potentially dangerous panels could not be known exactly.[11]

Following this, the NSW Government then admitted that there were 1,011 buildings that may have dangerous cladding.[12] The Minister at the time, Matt Kean, also indicated that “there are a number of remedies available that currently exist in law, that enable people to claim for defects. We’re not proposing any changes to the defects rules at the moment.”[13] This is a curious comment given:

  • recommendation 8 of the ‘Interim Report; aluminium composite cladding’ specifically recommended that a nationally consistent statutory duty of care be developed; and
  • the NSW Government is making owners corporations (rather than builders) responsible for the rectification of non-conforming Aluminium Composite Panels.

Finally, the NSW Government did ultimately change the “defects rules” by amending section 18E of the Home Building Act 1989 (see the section headed “Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 (NSW)” below).

a) Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding Taskforce

The NSW Government also established a Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding Taskforce in June 2017. The Taskforce has representatives from the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation, the NSW Data Analytics Centre, the Department of Planning and Environment, Fire and Rescue NSW, the Office of Local Government, Treasury and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

The priorities of the Taskforce were outlined in a ten point plan. The ten point plan will apparently ensure unsafe building products are taken off the shelves, buildings with cladding are identified and notified and that only people with the right skills and experience can certify buildings and sign off on fire safety.[14]

The plan includes:[15]

  1. a comprehensive building product safety scheme that would prevent the use of dangerous products on buildings;
  2. identifying buildings that might have aluminium or other cladding;
  3. writing to the building/strata managers or owners of those buildings to encourage them to inspect the cladding and installation of cladding, if it exists;
  4. Fire and Rescue NSW visiting all buildings on the list, as part of a fire safety education program, to gather information to prepare for a potential fire at that building and provide additional information to building owners;
  5. creating a new fire safety declaration that will require high-rise residential building owners to inform state and local governments as well as Fire and Rescue NSW if their building has cladding on it;
  6. speeding up reforms to strengthen the regulation of building certifiers;
  7. creating an industry-based accreditation to ensure only skilled and experienced people can carry out fire safety inspections;
  8. establishing a whole-of-government taskforce to coordinate and roll out the reforms;
  9. instructing all government departments to audit their buildings and determine if they have aluminium cladding, with an initial focus on social housing; and
  10. following up with local councils on correspondence local councils received in 2016 from the NSW Government after Melbourne’s Lacrosse Tower fire.

Determining precisely what the consequences of the above ten point plan are is unclear. Indeed, there is no specific mention of orders under section 121B of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act which is curious given it appears to be the very particular mechanism the NSW Government will use to deal with existing buildings which have dangerous cladding.

In addition, points 6 and 7 appear to relate to reforms that were already proposed following an investigation and report into the building certification system in 2016 (which recommended a significant overhaul of the system).[16]

Further again, the regulatory framework for building work in NSW is quite fragmented as Local Councils, the Department of Planning and Environment, the Building Professionals Board and the Department of Fair Trading are each tasked with separate and distinct regulatory functions. The Department of Fair Trading may investigate complaints made against builders and issue rectification orders, Local Councils (and other entities) may issue orders pursuant to section 121B of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and the Building Professionals Board administers the law in relation to certifiers.[17] This will make the execution of the ten point plan more difficult than if one body oversaw the regulatory framework.

Finally, some Councils in Sydney have also introduced programs and audits aimed at identifying buildings with non-complaint cladding (see Ku-Ring-Gai Council http://www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/Your_Council/Organisation/News_and_media/Latest_news_-_media_releases/Kuringgai_Council_steps_up_fire_safety_inspections_for_new_apartment_buildings and Inner West Council https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/news-hot-topics/media/media-releases/council-fast-tracking-high-rise-fire-safety-checks).

b) Legislative Changes

It is helpful to observe what has occurred in other state jurisdictions, and in particular Queensland, when considering the steps NSW has taken.

The Queensland Government was the first state government to react to the Grenfell Apartment fire. It introduced an amendment bill to impose duties on all participants in the chain of supply to ensure building products are safe for their intended use, and increased the powers of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).[18]

The Building and Construction Legislation (Non-Conforming Building Products – Chain of Responsibility and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2017 (Qld) commenced on 1 November 2017. This Act amended the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) by:[19]

  • imposing various duties regarding building products upon supply chain participants in the “chain of responsibility” (designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers and installers of building products). The duties imposed on those in the chain of responsibility include a primary duty to ensure, insofar as reasonably practicable, that a product is not a non-conforming building product for an intended use (ie to halt the use of non-conforming building products). Executive officers must exercise due diligence to ensure their companies comply with duties.[20] The effect of this is to extend the responsibility to use the correct building products, currently on builders and certifiers, to other parties in the supply chain;
  • broadening and clarifying the powers of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) and the Minister; and
  • establishing a Building Products Advisory Committee.

In Victoria in 2015, an audit of external wall cladding on high-rise and public buildings in Melbourne’s CBD was conducted and identified 85 buildings as non-compliant with the National Construction Code.

However, on 1 December 2017 the Victoria Cladding Taskforce released its Interim Report and identified 1,400 buildings “as most likely” having aluminium composite panels with a PE core or expanded polystyrene.  The Interim Report also found that systems failures led to major safety risks and widespread non-compliant use of combustible cladding. It was found that the failings identified by the Victorian Building Authority in 2015 were not merely administrative, or paper-based, but were significant public safety issues, which are symptomatic of broader non-compliance across a range of areas within the industry.

Victoria is yet to put in place any legislation addressing cladding but rather has focused on auditing buildings for the use of combustible cladding materials. The Interim Report did however recommend that consideration be given to amending the Building Act to ensure building surveyors and fire safety engineers act independently, supported by a code of conduct developed by the Victorian Building Authority.

i) Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 (NSW)

In NSW the Building Products (Safety) Act commenced on 18 December 2017. This legislation prevents the unsafe use of building products and provides for the rectification of affected buildings. It is not specifically directed at cladding but gives extensive powers to the Commissioner for Fair Trading to:

  • by written notice published on the internet, prohibit the use of a specified building product in a building if the Secretary is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the use is unsafe (a “building product use ban”).[21] A building product use ban may be imposed even if the building product or the use of the building product concerned complies with the requirements of the National Construction Code.[22] A person can contravene a building product use ban by either:
    • causing a building product to be used in a building (including by doing the relevant building work that attaches/incorporates the banned product to the building);[23] and/or
    • representing, in trade or commerce, that a building product is suitable for use in a building if such a use would contravene a building product use ban.[24] It is therefore possible for manufacturers and suppliers to contravene a building product use ban if they represent that a banned building product is suitable for use.

It is an offence to contravene a building product use ban and an individual may be fined (maximum penalty of $220,000) or imprisoned (up to 2 years) or both. The maximum penalty for a              corporation is $1.1 million;

  • issue a notice under section 18 of the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 (an “affected building notice”) where the Secretary is satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that a particular building is or may be an affected building. An affected building is one where a building product the subject of a building product use ban has been used in the building for a use that is prohibited by the building product use ban; and
  • issue a notice under section 19 of the Building Projects and (Safety) Act 2017 (a “general building safety notice”) where the Secretary is satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that a class of buildings may be affected buildings.

A relevant enforcement authority (which may be a local council or the NSW Department of Planning and Environment or any other authority who may give orders under section 121B of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979) may also sign a building product rectification order. A building product rectification order is an order that requires the owner of a building to do such things as are necessary for either or both of the following purposes:[25]

a) to eliminate or minimise a safety risk posed by the use in the building of a building product to which a building product use ban applies;

b) to remediate or restore the building following the elimination or minimisation of the safety risk.

For the purposes of any proceedings relating to a building product rectification order or proposed building product rectification order, an affected building notice or a general building safety notice is evidence that the use in a building of the building product specified in the notice poses a safety risk of a kind specified by the Secretary in that notice.

It should also be noted that the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and any regulations under that Act, apply to a building product rectification order in respect of a building as if the building product rectification order were an order made under section 121B of that Act.[26]

The other important aspects to note regarding the passage of the Building Products (Safety) Act was the amendment of a number of other Acts including:

a) the Home Building Act 1989. In short, the definition of ‘major defect’ in section 18E(4) of the Home Building Act 1989 has been expanded to include “the use of a building product (within the meaning of the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017) in contravention of that Act”. In addition to this, Schedule 1 of Part 2 of the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 provides that “the power to make a building product rectification order under this Act in respect of a building product used in a building extends to building products used in a building before the commencement of Part 4 of this Act”. This effectively extends the limitation period within which court proceedings may be commenced for non-conforming cladding from 2 years to 6 years after the completion of the building work;

b) the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016. Form 4 (Certificate under section 184 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015) in Schedule 1 Forms of the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 provides that the owners corporation must provide particulars of any outstanding building product rectification order under the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 (a section 184 certificate is a certificate by the owners corporation as to the financial and other matters relating to a lot and is otherwise known as a “strata information certificate”); and

c) the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulations 2017. The Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 amends the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulations 2017 such that an implied warranty is created that there is no outstanding building product rectification order or affected building notice for residential property under an option for purchase or contract for sale if no such order or notice is disclosed.

v) Building Products (Safety) Bill vs Building Products (Safety) Act

While this Act was introduced in response to the Grenfell Tower fire, it is not specifically directed at cladding. The draft Bill, which was circulated to various building industry stakeholders in early October 2017, was similar to the Queensland legislation and inter alia imposed duties on those in the supply chain to ensure that non-conforming building products were not used.

However, the final version of the legislation had 80 clauses deleted from the version circulated in early October 2017 and only contains provisions to act after a non-conforming product has been brought to the attention of Government.[27]

Curiously this outcome is arguably contrary to:

  • recommendation 3 of the ‘Interim Report: aluminium composite cladding’ which focused on increasing the accountability for participants across the supply chain; and
  • the agreement at the Building Ministers Forum (at which the NSW Government was present) that the powers of building regulators would be enhanced to respond to instances of non-conforming building products.[28]

vi) Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Fire Safety and Building Certification) Regulation 2017

Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation, all new buildings and building work must comply with the fire safety requirements of the National Construction Code.[29]

The National Construction Code requires minimum fire resistance levels for certain building components, fire separation, fire compartmentation and fire exits. Fire safety systems are also required to be installed such as fire hydrant systems, portable fire extinguishers, smoke alarm systems and emergency evacuation lighting.[30] The external walls of residential buildings two storeys or more in height are required to be non-combustible. Any attachments to these walls must also meet fire safety requirements.[31]

For high-rise buildings classified as more than 25 metres in height, additional requirements also apply. These include a fire sprinkler system and additional exits.[32] In this regard it should be noted that the National Construction Code will be amended next year to require sprinklers on all buildings with external aluminium cladding more than two storeys tall (rather than the current 25 metre (eight storey) cutoff.

On 1 October 2017 the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Fire Safety and Building Certification) Regulation 2017 commenced. This regulation amends the way in which annual fire safety statements are issued and submitted by the building owner to their local council and Fire and Rescue NSW. A copy of the annual fire safety statement must also be displayed in a prominent location in the building it applies to, with a copy of the fire safety schedule (which lists the essential fire safety measures that the building must comply with).

Up until 1 October 2017 there were no attributes of a properly qualified person who might issue an annual fire safety statement, leaving the building owners to determine who might be a properly qualified person. The risk of this being that building owners might inadvertently select the services of someone who is not properly qualified.

Under the changes brought in on 1 October 2017, building owners will need to select a competent fire safety practitioner to undertake the necessary assessments and inspections before an annual fire safety statement or supplementary fire safety statement is issued.

In addition to the maintenance of fire safety measures, the amending regulation also addresses issues relating to the design, approval and construction of buildings (such as critical stage inspections for class 2 – 9 buildings during construction, a new alternative solution report for the fire safety alternative solutions for class 1b – 9 buildings and the requirement for plans and specifications to be submitted in relation to work on certain fire safety systems in class 2 – 9 buildings).

vii) Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2017

The Environment Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2017 is not yet in force and was on exhibition for public comment until Friday 16 February 2018. If it becomes law, it will require owners of buildings with combustible external wall cladding to notify and register with the NSW Government and undertake an independent fire safety assessment within set deadlines.

Accompanying this draft regulation is an Explanation of Intended Effect for proposed amendments to eight State Environmental Planning Policies which is intended to reduce the risk of non-compliant combustible cladding being installed on high risk buildings as exempt developments.

viii) Building Professionals Act 2005

The NSW Government has acknowledged the need to improve the Building Professionals Act 2005 to strengthen requirements relating to the accreditation, investigation, auditing and disciplining of certifying authorities.[33]

The NSW Government intends to replace this Act with a new Building and Development Certifiers Act[34]  and intended that a draft exposure Bill would be placed on public exhibition in late 2017.[35] However, to date, no such Bill has been released.

c) Other Steps Taken by the NSW Government

In addition to the above mentioned legislative changes, the NSW Government has been advertising in newspapers such as the Sydney Morning Herald to raise general public awareness of the dangers of cladding (See Newsletter – Image).

Kerin Benson Lawyers wrote to the NSW Government and requested a response as to what steps the NSW Government is taking on the issue of compliance and enforcement. Set out below in italics is the response received.

NSW Government response

  • Consistent with the Government’s 10-point plan response to combustible cladding risks, the NSW Cladding Taskforce has written to owners for 1,041 buildings identified from data obtained by the Data Analytics Centre (DAC), Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI). The letter requests owners to take steps to ensure their building is fire safe.
  • The task of identifying buildings with combustible cladding is ongoing:
    • More than 40 councils have conducted independent audits identifying additional buildings.
    • Fire & Rescue NSW is conducting ‘kerbside’ visual inspections of buildings identified by DAC and Department of Planning and Environment, prioritising residential high rise and conducting home safety visits and pre-incident planning.
  • Also in line with the Government’s 10-point plan, the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 was recently assented to. This allows DFSI to restrict the use of specific building products.

Department Planning and Environment response – Policy

  • The Department of Planning and Environment has released a draft regulation that will require owners of buildings with combustible cladding to:
    • register with the NSW Government; and
    • submit statements on their cladding after commissioning independent fire safety checks. Set timeframes will apply to register with the NSW Government.
  • The draft regulation is on exhibition until 16 February 2018. Under the regulation, registration and statement details will be sent to councils and Fire & Rescue NSW to undertake any necessary follow up enforcement / fire safety functions.

 Department Planning and Environment response – Compliance

  • The Department Planning and Environment has been reviewing developments approved by the Minister for Planning and identifying buildings with potential combustible cladding.
  • Notices are being issued to the owners or managers of those buildings requiring them to undertake an evaluation of the cladding by an accredited certifier. Responses to the Notices are being reviewed by a fire safety expert.
  • Under the DPE Notices if the building does not comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) the owner is required to engage a fire safety engineer to develop a performance solution in consultation with Fire & Rescue NSW as a key stakeholder in the fire engineering brief (FEB) process.
  • 815 developments approved by the Minister have been reviewed by the Department via aerial data reviews and inspections where required to determine the presence of external cladding.
  • 441 potentially clad buildings have been referred to NSW Taskforce for letters to be sent.
  • The types of buildings have been prioritised in consultation with Fire & Rescue NSW.
  • Classes 2 & 3 building up to 8 storeys have been given priority as sprinklers are not required in these buildings.
  • Government buildings are being excluded at this stage.

 Types of Notices

By way of explanation there are two types of notices the Department is issuing:

  • For developments that are State Significant approved by the Minister for Planning (SSD, SSI & Part 3A) we are issuing Notices under s122C of the EPA Act imposing a condition to conduct an audit. The notices mostly consist of this type of notice.
  • For developments approved by a former Minister for Planning that are not State Significant (older developments) we are issuing Notices of intention to issue an Order 6 under s121B of the EPA requiring an audit. There are less of these types of notices.

Finally, the Department has issued 97 notices to owners (s122C Notices and Notice of intention to issue an order.) Responses to notices are being reviewed by our fire safety experts. At this stage no orders have been issued.  

[1] The Senate Economics References Committee, Non-Conforming building products, Interim Report: aluminium composite cladding, February 2017, p.1.

[2] Ibid, p.2.

[3] Minter Ellison, “Cladding: To Ban or not to Ban, that is the Question”, 12 September 2017.

[4] The Senate Economics References Committee, Non-Conforming building products, Interim Report: aluminium composite cladding, February 2017, p. 8

[5] Minter Ellison, “Cladding: the Australian landscape since Grenfell”, 12 September 2017.

[6] The Senate Economics References Committee, Non-Conforming building products, Interim Report: aluminium composite cladding, February 2017, p. 14.

[7] Ibid, p. 21

[8] Ibid, p. 21

[9] Ibid, p. 14 and 15.

[10] McDonald, P., “London tower fire: NSW documents reveal thousands of buildings could have cladding issue”, ABC News, 15 June 2017.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Gerathy, S., “NSW Government identifies 1,000 buildings with possible dangerous cladding”, ABC News, 28 July 2017.

[13] Ibid.

[14] https://www.nsw.gov.au/news-and-events/news/ten-point-plan-for-fire-safety-reforms/

[15] Ibid.

[16] Higgins, S., “Who’s liable? Combustible cladding prompts building reform in NSW”, August 2017.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Grace Lawyers, “Inside Strata”, September 2017, p.19.

[19] Minter Ellison, “Queensland chain of supply legislation commences on 1 November 2017”, 1 November 2017.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Section 9, Building Products (Safety) Act 2017.

[22] Section 85, Building Products (Safety) Act 2017.

[23] Section 15(1) and (2), Building Products (Safety) Act 2017.

[24] Section 15(3), Building Products (Safety) Act 2017.

[25] Section 20, Building Products (Safety) Act 2017.

[26] Section 21, Building Products (Safety) Act 2017.

[27] Aliento, W., “Industry Fury as NSW government waters down building products legislation”, The Fifth Estate, 22 November 2017. See also letter to The Hon. Matthew Kean from the Building Products Innovation Council dated 17 November 2017.

[28] Letter to The Hon. Matthew Kean from the Building Products Innovation Council dated 17 November 2017.

[29]http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/biz_res/ftweb/pdfs/About_us/Whats_new/NSW_Gov_Fire_Safety_and_External_Wall_Cladding_Fact_Sheet.pdf

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

[33] http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Policy-and-Legislation/Under-review-and-new-Policy-and-Legislation/Building-Regulation-and-Certification-Reform

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid.

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