The Australian Apartment Advocacy has called on each State and Federal Minister to turn their attention to material standards on the eve of the Grenfell 5 year anniversary.
The Grenfell Tower flammable cladding fire in London resulted in 72 people died and the peak body for the Australian apartment and unit sector says the cladding issue in WA remains a ticking time bomb and is getting lost in bureaucratic red tape and going around in circles.
It is calling for direct intervention from both the Prime Minister and Premier Mark McGowan.
Five years ago, in London on June 14, 2017, 72 people died a horrible death and in that time, Australia has been lucky not to have seen the same tragedy in this country with the threat of flammable cladding still a huge risk to apartment and unit owners Australia wide.
Since 2017, similar flammable cladding fires have occurred in Asia, the Middle East, and in the United States.
The peak body representing the interests of 2.5million apartment and unit owners, Australian Apartment Advocacy, says cladding removal and replacement has proven to be a “nightmare” for apartment and unit owners and many Government agencies responsible for the task are asleep at the wheel.
In New South Wales, the State Auditor General in a scathing report last month said the State Government response to flammable cladding removal had been “inconsistent and inefficient”.
In Victoria, cladding removal and remediation work on only one quarter of an estimated 630 plus residential complexes had been completed.
In Queensland, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission estimates there are still hundreds of private residential buildings throughout the State that remain in breach of combustible cladding regulations, and which could not be prosecuted because of a bureaucratic bungle which required fresh legislation to fix.
The impact of delays and indecisive action has led to residents suffering from trauma and mental health concerns, with several recent suicides.
A multi-million-dollar class action is about to be launched by owners impacted by flammable cladding and thousands of owners are reporting that they cannot sell their apartments or units if their buildings are on the cladding register but have not been remediated.
“It is time for Mr Albanese to step in with the assistance of Premier McGowan and fix the cladding mess in WA once and for all,” Australian Apartment Advocacy head, Samantha Reece, said today.
“Flammable cladding is a ticking time bomb and how we have not had a Grenfell Towers type tragedy in this country escapes me, but the real issue is that the threat remains.
“I am calling on Premier McGowan to ask that this issue be placed on the National Cabinet agenda as a matter of priority.
“Our office has had contact with hundreds of apartment and unit owners who are not only worried about the threat of another Grenfell Towers tragedy, but who can’t sell or insure their property because of concerns about flammable cladding.
“Individual owners also face huge clean up bills, as high as $80,000 per apartment to fix the problem if they do not qualify for Government assistance.”