EMBARGOED UNTIL July 28, 2019 11:00 AM
QUEENSLAND’S PEAK STRATA BODY REPEATS ITS CALL TO STATE GOVERNMENT TO MATCH VICTORIA’S $600MILLION C
QUEENSLAND’S PEAK STRATA BODY REPEATS ITS CALL TO STATE GOVERNMENT TO MATCH VICTORIA’S $600MILLION CLADDING RESCUE FUND
ONLY THREE DAYS REMAIN FOR BODY CORPORATES TO COMPLETE STAGE TWO CLADDING PAPERWORK
With an estimated 10,000 apartment buildings in NSW, Victoria and Queensland thought to contain flammable cladding, Queensland strata leaders are continuing to call on the Palaszczuk Government to match dollar-for-dollar, the $600million cladding rescue fund pledged by Victoria.
Queensland strata leaders estimate that around 500 residential buildings are impacted by combustible cladding and say the Queensland Government’s optimistic view is encouraging but not what the sector needs to fix the problem.
Residents in cladding affected buildings face removal and remediation costs of up to $60,000 per apartment.
Stage Two of the State Government’s Safer Buildings Initiative closes this week on 31 July and strata industry leaders believe the size of the problem won’t be known until then.
According to a recent defects report released by Deakin University, 71% of strata buildings in Queensland contain at least one type of defect, most of which are water ingress. To date, 237 privately owned strata buildings have been identified as containing combustible cladding, in addition to five government buildings.
The state’s peak strata body representing the interests of more than 350,000 Queenslanders who own and live in strata titled property across the state has been lobbying for a rectification package since London’s Grenfell Tower blaze in 2017 sparked action on combustible cladding.
Strata Community Association (Qld) says the $600million cladding rescue fund promised by the Victorian Government earlier this month affirms the SCA view that State Governments should play a key role in combustible cladding rectification as often the only recourse for lot owners is legal action.
SCA (Qld) President Simon Barnard says, “While it’s still too early to predict the total number of buildings affected, what we know with certainty is that, without assistance, strata lot owners will be left to foot a potentially multi-million-dollar bill they can’t afford.
“Usually the original owner will no longer be around to help bodies corporate fix the problem, so while there is no statutory warranty period for buildings higher than 3 storeys, they are only left with the option of suing.
“Legal action is an expensive, risky course that many bodies corporate are not willing to take when the chances of success are minimal.
“Over and above that, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission is set to enforce hefty fines on those who are late in meeting the 31 July deadline; further compounding the financial strain already placed on Queenslanders.
“We are urging the Palaszczuk Government to intervene on this issue. We consider cladding rectification to be the Government’s responsibility as decades of deregulation have led to a few issues in the construction sector.”
In Queensland’s neighbouring state, New South Wales, major building defects have prompted four building evacuations in the last 12 months.
In February, combustible cladding was responsible for the multi-storey fire at Melbourne’s Neo200 Building on Spencer Street in the CBD.
“The past year has been a horror story for strata communities around Australia. Unfairly, the burden is being placed on individual strata lot owners to foot the bill for the mistakes of State Governments past and present and the construction sector.”
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