Attack on website as building owners rush to meet Queensland fire laws

A website for Queensland building owners to register their properties to check for flammable cladding came under attack as the deadline loomed on Friday.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission’s Safer Buildings website had more than 20,000 registrations completed as owners rushed to comply with new legislation.

The registrations are the first phase of a checklist to ensure no Queensland multi-storey buildings have flammable cladding installed, nearly two years after the fatal Grenfell Tower disaster in Britain.

Sixty-eight per cent of the buildings registered on the website in the first phase have been cleared of having flammable cladding.

More than 4300 assessments have to now go through to the second phase of the process, with industry professionals assessing the buildings and reporting back to the QBCC by the end of May.

QBCC commissioner Brett Bassett said the website was receiving registrations every 30 seconds hours before the deadline.

“However, there was a period where a party used the internet to aggressively probe the website and created a risk of shutting out other industry members and building owners from completing their checklists,” he said.

“The website continued to successfully receive registrations and documentation during this period.

“We are reviewing logs of the attack and have not ruled out referring this matter to QPS.”

Mr Bassett said the audit process could “not be circumvented” and building owners were responsible for the safety of anyone using their building.

He said building owners would be held accountable if cladding was found to be dangerous.

But the peak body for the state’s strata sector said the deadline should have been delayed, with natural disasters causing problems for some owners.

Strata Community Association Queensland president Simon Barnard said more than 4000 buildings could have missed the phase one deadline inadvertently, forcing them into the second assessment phase.

“Deadlines are important and we’re all for potential threats to life and property damage being eliminated or minimised as soon as possible, but the deadlines and scheduling of the Safer Buildings Program were always tight and certain incidents did not help the issue,” he said.

Article By Lucy Stone – Brisbane Times – Source Link – April 1, 2019