Minister Courtney Houssos slams delay to remove flammable cladding from NSW apartment buildings


The state government remains under fire to act on promises to remove flammable cladding from some 239 high-risk apartment towers. 

Courtney Houssos, Shadow Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, says NSW is lagging behind Victoria to remove the cladding.

“At this rate, Victoria will have removed cladding from half of its buildings before NSW even begins,” she says.
NSW Labor says the Victorian government has helped 40 apartment buildings remove flammable cladding.
The NSW government’s two-year project to remove the cladding, originally scheduled to commence this year, has been put on hold until next year. 

NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler, whose office is overseeing Project Remediate, says the project was expected to begin as soon as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. 

“We estimate the project is between four and six weeks behind schedule. But we are on track to begin assessment and triage works in the coming months, and remediation works will commence straight after the traditional summer break in the trades industries,” he’s quoted in Sydney Morning Herald.

“COVID-19 has impacted the construction industry and how we can operate through lockdown.”

Houssos says a “badly designed building is not going to be fixed by a badly designed Government program”. 

She says concerned residents are consequently taking matters into their own hands.
“The NSW Government’s answer to dodgy developers is to allow defects to be repaired by unlicensed and unregulated contractors,” she says.
“The reputable tradies want to get the unlicensed cowboys out of the industry, which is in everyone’s interest.”

The project comes almost seven years after a fire in Melbourne’s Lacrosse apartment tower revealed the dangers of flammable cladding.

The Grenfell Tower blaze in London in 2017, which claimed the lives of 72 people, further weighted concerns worldwide.




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