Get Ready to Dob Yourself In About Cladding

Amendments to the Regulation

On 4 December 2017, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment exhibited proposed amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 to address issues with non-compliant aluminium cladding that had been used in the construction of the buildings in NSW.

This amendment is part of a broader approach by the NSW Government to address the risks arising from non-compliant cladding as demonstrated by events such as the Grenfell Tower fire in London and the Lacrosse building fire in Melbourne.

What is included in the Draft Amendment?

The proposed draft, titled the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2017 (the Draft) introduces a scheme to ensure that:

  1. all instances of non-compliant cladding in a building are identified and notified to the Secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment within 3 months;
  1. within 7 to 11 months, depending upon the class of building, a Cladding Statement is provided to the Secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment from a properly qualified person identifying:
  1. potential risks arising from the non-compliant products assessed and a plan developed to mitigate, or remove all potential risks; and
  1. this plan is implemented.

 

What is the significance of this for Owners Corporations?

The proposed Draft is significant for owners corporations as it places the majority of the compliance requirement on the “owner of the building” to comply with.

For strata schemes, this will be the Owners Corporation.

The Owners Corporation may be directed to provide details of cladding to authorised fire officers and Council. Failure to comply with reporting or directions issued under the proposed Draft may expose Owners Corporations to penalties.

What steps should an Owners Corporation be taking?

Nothing is currently required as the Draft has not yet come into effect, however due to the relatively short timeframe to notify the government in the event that your building contains non-compliant cladding, Owners Corporations may wish to begin undertaking investigations to establish whether this is the case.

Given the potentially serious risks arising from a fire in a building with non-compliant cladding, it would be prudent for an Owners Corporation to undertake these steps regardless of when, or if, the Draft comes into effect.

 

***The information contained in this article is general information only and not legal advice. The currency, accuracy and completeness of this article (and its contents) should be checked by obtaining independent legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely upon its contents in any way.

 

Prepared by Bannermans Lawyers

9 April 2018

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For more information on this topic or any legal enquiries please contact your Strata Team.

 

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