Cladding Safety Victoria

As one of 35 actions recommended in a report released by the Victorian Cladding Taskforce, Cladding Safety Victoria has now been established to provide support and funding to apartment owners to remove cladding on their buildings.

While Cladding Safety Victoria supports owners and residents through the rectification process, the VBA will continue its important work of identifying, inspecting and assessing multistorey buildings across the state.

When an apartment building has been audited and assessed as having heightened fire safety risk, it will be referred to Cladding Safety Victoria. The VBA will continue to issue Building Notices and Orders, checking rectification work as it progresses and confirming that the completed works are safe and compliant with regulatory requirements.

Owners of buildings outside the scope of Cladding Safety Victoria, such as private hospitals, private schools and aged care facilities, will continue to liaise with the VBA.

The VBA’s Chief Executive, Sue Eddy, said the establishment of Cladding Safety Victoria provides a clear plan for the advancement of rectification works across the state.

“This announcement enables thousands of Victorians to commence the cladding rectification process, making their buildings and homes safe and compliant,” Ms Eddy said.

Since December 2017, the VBA’s Statewide Cladding Audit team has inspected over 2200 properties, finding around 900 buildings that need to be rectified to some degree.

Ms Eddy said the statewide audit is ongoing, with the VBA expecting to find more buildings that will need some work to limit fire safety risks. Inspection of a further 500 sites will take place over the next 12 months.

About Cladding Safety Victoria

Cladding Safety Victoria works with owners and owners corporations to help them rectify non-compliant cladding by providing support, guidance and connections to appropriately registered and qualified practitioners.

Cladding Safety Victoria’s aim is simple – support owners and occupiers to ensure Victorian buildings with combustible cladding are rectified and deemed safe to occupy long term.

Where eligible, Cladding Safety Victoria will provide funding for:

  • Project management support
  • Professional design services
  • Building surveying
  • Permits and approvals
  • Building materials and rectification works

Cladding Safety Victoria process for fixing high-risk buildings

1. Building assessed by Victorian Statewide Cladding Audit

2. Building referred to Cladding Safety Victoria

 Once referred, you can expect the following as part of this first phase:

  • Your owners corporation manager will receive a letter from Cladding Safety Victoria
  • If you are the owner, you will be invited to meet with Cladding Safety Victoria
  • You will receive information regarding next steps and processes for rectification
  • Be assigned a liaison officer; and
  • Be supported in selection and appointment of a project manager.

3. Project planning and design

You and other owners will appoint a project manager and begin planning the building’s rectification. As part of this phase, you can expect to:

  • Understand options available for rectification
  • Identify possible issues and needs relevant to the building
  • Appoint other professional services that may be required, including a fire engineer and building surveyor; and
  • Be provided guidance regarding entering agreements and associated processes.

4. Approvals and funding

A number of administration tasks are undertaken as part of this phase, in which approvals are sought for the rectification solution/s developed.

These may include:

  • Holding a meeting with the building’s community to discuss options
  • Lodging a submission with the Building Appeals Board for approval of designed rectification solutions
  • Cladding Safety Victoria will assess costs and make a determination regarding the amount of funding to be made available
  • Owners will endorse a preferred approach to rectification
  • A building surveyor will provide a building permit, enabling works to commence.

5. Contract awarded

Owners engage a builder through facilitated negotiation.

  • Owners select a service provider for rectification works (typically a builder)
  • Cladding Safety Victoria will support owners through contract negotiation, ensuring necessary terms, conditions and works schedules are specified in any agreements
  • Project manager will develop works schedules in a way that minimises disruption.

6. Works carried out

Work gets under way to rectify the building to reduce cladding risk, with minimal disruption to occupants and the community.

  • Regular updates provided to owners and occupants
  • Residents will be provided a dedicated liaison officer for any queries

7. Works are completed

After a final inspection and meeting with the Victorian Building

Authority, owners will receive:

  • Written confirmation of finalisation of works
  • Handover of final compliance documentation
  • A survey of owners and occupants undertaken to understand areas for process improvement.

The maps below of metro Melbourne and Victoria show the number of privately-owned buildings identified with cladding, shown by metropolitan municipality, as at 11 July 2019.

Source: www.vba.vic.gov.au/cladding
Source: www.vba.vic.gov.au/cladding

Cladding Safety Victoria’s aim is simple – support owners and occupiers to ensure Victorian buildings with combustible cladding are rectified and deemed safe to occupy long term.