Qld govt may close cladding loopholes

Two years after London’s Grenfell Tower fire, the Queensland government says inaction on cladding loopholes is risking safety and the construction industry.

Queensland may ban provisions allowing combustible cladding on high-rise buildings, with concerns the global insurance fallout from the Grenfell Tower disaster could affect the state’s construction industry.

It’s been two years since 72 people died in the London fire, which spread rapidly due in part to the common type of cladding used in its construction.

Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said the ensuing scandal has caused insurance premiums to skyrocket for certifiers, threatening to grind Queensland’s $45 billion construction industry to a halt.

He said the federal government has allowed the importation of “dodgy” combustible cladding, and the National Construction Code has too many loopholes that allow its use in buildings over three storeys.

“The era of ‘bendable rules’ must finish. Complacency and the misuse of performance-based solutions has seen buildings in Australia clad in solid petrol,” Mr de Brenni said.

“I think Queenslanders would want us to simply outlaw that practice if it will remove the risk of a cladding disaster and stabilise our vital building industry.”

Mr de Brenni has called an urgent meeting of his Ministerial Construction Council for Tuesday to discuss a response and consider recommendations of an independent PricewaterhouseCoopers report into the insurance issue.

Deputy LNP leader Tim Mander accused Mr de Brenni of “dithering”.

“This Palaszczuk government continues to blame the federal government for its own woes,” he said.

“Minister de Brenni needs to act now to make sure that people have some comfort in these buildings.”

Article By Natalie Bochenski – News.com.au – Source Link – JUNE 15, 2019 4:40PM