The building cannot be lived in after the next fortnight until fire safety concerns have been addressed. The Emergency Order follows a recommendation by the independent Advisory Reference Panel to Council’s MBS.
The building was identified by the VBA as part of an audit of a number of buildings across the State, where inspections are undertaken to identify any compliance and fire safety risks.
They assessed the building as having an unreasonable fire risk to the occupants and public, due to the way it was constructed and the presence of combustible cladding. The occupancy permit for this development was issued in the early 2000s by a private building surveyor and not Council.
To provide time to find other accommodation, the building’s Owner’s Corporation (OC) has been advised to engage a Fire Safety Warden onsite from 10 pm to 7 am every day for the next two weeks. After that, residents cannot live in the building.
This is the first time an order for an evacuation of this kind has been issued in our City and our hearts go out to the owners and residents at this distressing time. Our Council is working closely with the OC and we will do what we can to assist those needing support.
Council is not identifying the building, other than to the affected owners and residents.
This is line with the VBA’s long-standing practice of not releasing a list of where buildings with combustible cladding are as this would create further risk to life and building safety. Building owners are notified if combustible cladding has been found on their building. Owners can find out whether their building has combustible cladding by speaking to the owners corporation or building manager.
There are also avenues for buyers to ascertain whether a property they are considering purchasing has been identified as having combustible cladding. The VBA encourages pre-purchase building inspections.