Private Buildings Cladding Scheme launched

Australian Greens

The ACT Government has today opened the Private Buildings Cladding Scheme, which will assist eligible building owners to test whether their building has combustible cladding.

“The ACT Government takes the safety of Canberra residents seriously and we are committed to reducing the risk of potentially combustible cladding on residential apartment buildings in the ACT,” Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction, Rebecca Vassarotti, said.

“We recognise the challenges faced by apartment building owners to address combustible cladding without assistance, which is why the scheme will provide financial support during phase one of testing and assessment and concessional loans for phase two of rectification.

“The scheme will provide rebates to eligible owners of apartment buildings to undertake testing and assessment of their building’s cladding. This testing will determine the level of risk, if any, that cladding represents, and what actions the building owners should take to reduce the risk.”

The scheme will offer a 50% rebate to cover cost of undertaking the testing and assessment on each building, up to a maximum rebate of $20,000 (excluding GST).

If a building is assessed as requiring cladding remediation work, the scheme will also offer concessional loans to assist with funding remediation works. Details of the concessional loans to be offered in phase two of the scheme will be available once outcomes from phase one are known.

The Private Buildings Cladding Scheme is available to owners of eligible buildings which are situated in the ACT. An eligible building is defined as:

  • an apartment building with a rise of three storeys or more, or a cluster of residential buildings close to each other that represents a high fire risk;
  • a building or buildings that contains residential apartments or have a mix of uses such as residential apartments with ground floor shops or offices;
  • a building judged to contain combustible cladding based on reasonable grounds by the Owners Corporation.

“The ACT has been able to assess the approaches of other jurisdictions and design a scheme specifically for our region to ensure cladding works are carried out on the highest risk privately-owned residential buildings,” Minister Vassarotti said.

“We are committed to ensuring that the testing and assessment of cladding is done professionally and that owners get as much assistance as they need to guide them through that process.

“Stakeholders have asked for practical assistance from government in sourcing skilled providers in this technical area, which is why the ACT Government is hosting an open, publicly available list detailing suppliers who have qualifications, experience, licences and insurances relevant to undertaking cladding work in the ACT.

“I have consulted with stakeholders and received advice from related peak body organisations and I thank these groups for their ongoing engagement and support in communicating this scheme to their members.”

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