THE Victorian government has declared a ban on dangerous flammable cladding for all future multi-storey developments.
The ban on flammable aluminium composite panels and rendered expanded polystyrene came into effect as of the first of February, announced the Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne.
Violations to this prohibition will be enforced by the Victorian Building Authority, who conducted the state-wide Cladding Audit. Penalties for serious infractions to the ban will be up to $400,000.
“This ban will ensure new developments are built to the highest standard to keep Victorians safe while we continue to rectify existing buildings through our world first cladding rectification program,” said Wynne.
The ban, which will make the use of such cladding illegal when used in the development of apartment buildings, and other multi-storey buildings, is part of the state government’s $600 million Cladding Rectification Program.
This includes residential buildings with two or more storeys such as hotels and aged care facilities.
Additionally, the ban will be enforced in other developments with three or more storeys, such as shopping centres, office buildings, warehouses factories and car parks.
The decision was reportedly informed by expert advice, which concluded that the products can contribute to the spread of fire “when used inappropriately or installed incorrectly”.
“We’re continuing to act on the most up to date expert advice on cladding products and anyone caught flouting this ban will face significant penalties.”
The ban has been put in place to reduce any further risk to the public, through the reduction of future cladding based fire incidents.
Alongside increasing public safety, a government commissioned cost benefit analysis found the ban will bring a net $1 million annually in reduced insurance costs.
The ban comes after the recommendation by the Victorian Cladding Taskforce which led to a five-month government consultation.
“These products are a high risk when used inappropriately or installed incorrectly – that’s why we’ve acted to ban them for new multi-storey buildings,” concluded Wynne.