Collaboration with owners corporations key to Victoria’s cladding rectification program success
Since the Victorian Government’s five-year cladding rectification program was announced, Victoria has led the way in assisting owners corporations through the complex process of cladding rectification. No other jurisdiction in Australia or the world has assisted owners on the scale Victoria has.
The agency established to oversee the program, Cladding Safety Victoria (CSV), has worked with hundreds of owners corporations who are at various stages in the program, with funding decisions made for 320 buildings. Of these, 176 have already been completed, an additional 49 are currently being rectified, and an additional 95 are currently going through various design and tender stages with these works to commence in the coming months. This equates to more than 5000 individual homes and more than 10,000 people who are safer in 65 different Victorian suburbs as a result of this program so far.
Additionally, CSV’s investigations have found that a further 200 buildings referred do not require cladding rectification or are out of scope. They may already have had cladding removed, or the cladding may be of a non-combustible or low risk type, or the building may be out of scope because it is not a Class 2 building. Where this occurs, CSV formally notifies the owners corporation.
Chief Executive of Cladding Safety Victoria Dan O’Brien said that the collaboration with owners corporations committees and managers has been pivotal in the program’s rapid progress.
“Working on buildings while people live in them isn’t easy, especially over the last two years, but thanks to the ongoing collaboration between owners corporations, contractors, project managers and CSV we’re finishing more buildings every week,” Dan said.
“Well over half – 520 of the 820 buildings – referred to CSV currently have a solution in place, while we continue to work hard towards finding a solution for each of the remaining buildings referred to us,” Dan said.
Thanh Do, whose building was rectified under the program, said having CSV’s support alleviated a lot of stress and confusion among owners.
“Beyond the funding assistance provided by CSV, having access to project management support was vital. Without it I think the owners corporation would be stuck in a very difficult position because aside from having to find the money to fund cladding rectification, no one on the owners corporation would have the time or expertise to take on the project,” he said.
“Having a single point of contact at CSV was super useful to understand the process and potential timeframes.”
Thanh said that CSV’s program has given owners certainty.
“Everyone was in limbo and unsure whether they could continue living in the building. The Council Order would have escalated to the point where residents would have had to vacate the building, making us homeless effectively.
“Overall, everyone is very happy with the outcome. Despite challenges along the way, we managed to work through the issues and get to this point. It is fantastic that the building is rectified, and we can get on with our lives,” he said.
CSV also communicates with owners corporations and residents on a periodic basis about the importance of fire safety and maintaining Essential Safety Measures (ESMs).
For more information about Cladding Safety Victoria and the Cladding Rectification Program, visit the website: https://www.vic.gov.au/cladding-safety.
This article was supplied by Cladding Safety Victoria (CSV)