News Flammable cladding to be removed from hundreds of residential buildings in NSW

Flammable cladding to be removed from hundreds of residential buildings in NSW

Flammable cladding will be removed from 214 buildings in NSW, beginning in late 2021. Photo: AAP
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Four years after a high-rise residential tower in London was engulfed in flames, combustible cladding will be removed from more than 200 buildings in NSW.

Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson announced on Monday that the process of removing the flammable cladding would begin by the end of 2021.

Mr Anderson said experts on the state government’s Cladding Product Safety Panel have selected four types of products to replace the combustible material.

That means the government can begin planning to replace flammable cladding on the 214 residential buildings, he added.

“Homeowners need to be confident their building will be rectified with systems that are safe,” Mr Anderson said.

“That’s why every component we are recommending in the first tranche will have to meet the highest fire safety standard under the Building Code of Australia.”

The cladding may be replaced with fire cement panels, non-combustible cement render, solid aluminium panels or solid metal sheets, all installed with cavity barriers and fire-proof mechanical fixings.

The decision comes almost four years after similar combustible cladding caused the high-rise residential Grenfell Tower tower in London to be engulfed in flames, killing 72 people.

“We expect to commence assessment and project design for the first batch of 30 buildings by July, with the first cladding removed in late 2021,” Mr Anderson said.

However, Greens MP David Shoebridge said the government had been slow to respond to the issue.

“The Victorian government has invested $600 million to directly remove flammable cladding, but the NSW government has not put up a single cent,” Mr Shoebridge said.

“Many homeowners will have replaced cladding and because of government delay they may have installed inferior dangerous product and now face having to repeat this expensive process with a new product.

“It’s not good enough,” he said.

He accused the government of refusing to reveal which apartment blocks and other buildings like shopping centres, hospitals and other public buildings, had the combustible cladding.

“This is a problem that they and their developer mates caused, but which they’re expecting councils and homeowners to pay for it,” he said.