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EMBARGOED UNTIL May 15, 2019 10:00 AM

NEARLY $400MILLLION FOR COMBUSTIBLE CLADDING TO BE PAID OUT IN UK

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Wednesday 15 May 2019

NEARLY $400MILLLION FOR COMBUSTIBLE CLADDING TO BE PAID OUT IN UK

NEW SOUTH WALES URGED TO FOLLOW UK’S LEAD AND PAY TO REPLACE COMBUSTIBLE CLADDING

CALLS FOR NEXT FEDERAL GOVT AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO PLEDGE $500MILLION TO REMOVE COMBUSTIBLE CLADDING

The New South Wales and Federal Governments are being urged to follow the lead of the British Government that has just agreed to pay out nearly $400million to replace combustible aluminium cladding, which is a billion-dollar problem in Australia.(Editors, see link)

The Greens political party in Australia is already pushing for a $50million compensation package to assist with cladding removal.

With Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement that the government would remove and replace combustible cladding, pressure is mounting on policy makers in Australia to do the same.

Strata property leaders are calling on the next Federal Government to follow the UK’s lead and replace combustible cladding on thousands of properties that are affected in Australia.

The peak body for Australia’s $1trillion strata property sector is highly supportive of government intervention on the national cladding crisis at Federal and State levels, given the widespread use of combustible cladding in Australia.

Strata Community Association, Chief Executive Officer Alisha Fisher says, “As it stands, we’re in a dangerous situation in New South Wales and urgent government action is needed to prevent the potentially fatal fires caused by combustible cladding as evidenced in the UK. New South Wales apartment owners shouldn’t be left at risk.

“We have a flammable cladding problem in every state, including New South Wales. The number of affected buildings in Victoria runs at 681 classified as “high risk”, followed closely by New South Wales with 447. The prevalence of combustible cladding in certain states warrants the involvement of the New South Wales and Federal Governments.

Strata Community Association recently noted the Greens’ five-point plan that includes a federally funded Emergency Cladding Safety Fund, with an initial injection of $50million in assistance.

However, SCA believes if the Australian Government is to fund the entire nation’s flammable cladding, the funds required would be closer to $500million, achievable with the funding of both the New South Wales and Federal Governments.

Ms Fisher says, “The UK’s decision to pay the equivalent of $373million to remove and replace aluminium composite panels affirms our view that the Australian government should take responsibility for our national cladding crisis.

“Strata lot owners and residents are currently faced with the predicament of having to pay up to $60,000 per lot to remove and replace flammable cladding. For many, this amount is prohibitive, leaving them living in an unsafe home.

“The Victorian Department of Education is already replacing cladding on low- and medium-rise buildings at 13 primary and secondary schools. It seems fair to us that strata lot owners and residents in New South Wales should be offered the same level of support.

“Combustible cladding remains a major election issue. The timing of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement should stand as a reminder to both sides of politics that action on combustible cladding should be on the agenda.

“We urge the next Federal Government to pledge $500million in assistance and follow the UK’s lead to remove and replace combustible cladding. We also urge all States, including New South Wales, to commit funds and work with Federal to solve the cladding problem.”

ENDS

About Strata Community Association

Strata Community Association Limited (SCA) is the peak industry body for Body Corporate and Community Title Management in Australia & New Zealand. Membership includes body corporate managers, support staff, committee members and suppliers of products and services to the industry.SCA proudly fulfils the dual roles of a professional institute and consumer advocate.

SCA has in excess of 3,300 members who help oversee, advise or manage a combined property portfolio with an estimated replacement value of over $1.2 trillion. Website: http://stratacommunity.org.au/

(ENDS)

Contact Details

Pat McGuire
Marketplace Communications
0412 748161
Patrick.mcguire@mpc.com.au

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