Big fund for cladding fix
Victorian taxpayers will pay for rectification works on buildings with dangerous combustible cladding.
Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a $600 million package to fix hundreds of high-risk buildings – half of which will come from state coffers, while the other half should be raised over the next five years through a modified building permit levy.
The fund is just one of dozens of recommendations from the Victorian Cladding Taskforce, which also called for a contribution from the Commonwealth to help fund rectification.
Mr Andrews wants the issue to be raised at the next Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting, and has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison about it.
The Government says it will only increase the levy on building permits if the Federal Government does not help pay.
The proposed permit levy increase will be for buildings worth more than $800,000.
“For us as a Government this has been a challenging situation to address,” Planning Minister Richard Wynne said.
Meanwhile, major lobbies want action on the nation's “patchy and inconsistent” building rules, especially in regard to cladding.
Labor says the federal government has failed to address the issue, but the federal government blames the states and territories for the mess.
A joint statement from big firms in the building, construction, property and insurance industries has attacked both state and territory governments for their mixed responses to combustible cladding on high-rise developments.
The groups say inconsistent approaches make the matter worse.
“Building surveyors, engineers and architects are now struggling to obtain the insurance they need to do their job,” they said in a joint statement on Monday.
“Consumers, building owners, building practitioners and their insurers need certainty and confidence in building regulation.”
The industry groups say the Commonwealth must pull the states and territories into line.