Thirty-nine practitioners linked to 790 properties with unsafe, non-compliant combustible cladding have been the subject of enforcement action by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).
The Statewide Cladding Audit began in 2018 and has since inspected more than 3200 properties.
VBA’s enforcement has focused on practitioners responsible for the more serious contraventions of their obligations and those associated with multiple higher risk sites.
Holding practitioners to account for their actions sends a clear message that unsafe, non-compliant work will not be tolerated, says VBA CEO Sue Eddy.
Monetary penalties handed out include fines of up to $45,000 and other deterrents include licence or registration cancellations, which can result in practitioners being unable to work for up to three years.
“The use of non-compliant combustible cladding has led to immense stress and heartache for homeowners and caused untold damage to the reputation of the building industry,” Eddy says.
The action taken by the VBA was aimed at restoring confidence in the industry and working with practitioners to avoid a repeat of the current cladding situation seen around the world, Eddy – who views Victoria’s response as world-leading – continues. “Those practitioners who have done the wrong thing are in the very small minority, but their actions have unfortunately raised a question mark over the practices of the wider industry, which isn’t fair.”
The industry’s understanding regarding the use of aluminium composite panels and other combustible materials has also improved as a result of the enforcement action, says a VBA media release.