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Building crisis: government receives remediation plan

Mr Chandler’s advice to the government, provided last week, first addresses the issue of how buildings with significant defects should be identified. It also addresses how those buildings should be remediated, and by whom, to help ensure any repairs are done well.

It then addresses how those repairs should be funded, according to a source familiar with the advice. It lays out multiple avenues for funding repairs, some of which involve a role for government, some of which involve hybrid government-private finance options, and some of which do not require government funding.

The Victorian Government has announced a $600 million package to fund the replacement of flammable cladding, but Mr Chandler has said that he was unimpressed by that scheme. It did not include mechanisms for “triaging” which buildings should receive any government support.

In NSW, the government has faced increased calls for it to support owners of both of buildings facing hefty bills to replace dangerous external claddings, and owners of apartments with significant defects.

For instance, a representative of an owners’ corporation of an apartment block in Pyrmont, which has received a council order to replace its external flammable cladding, argued to the parliamentary inquiry for urgent financial assistance, but also for clear government guidance about appropriate replacement materials.

And residents of the evacuated Mascot Towers apartmebt block in Sydney’s inner south have voted to take out a $7 million loan to fund remediation work, though the ultimate cost of the work required is likely to be larger than this.

Councils meanwhile have argued that the government needs to provide clear guidance on how buildings with flammable cladding are remediated.

Mr Chandler told a parliamentary inquiry on Friday, August, 16, that he would make recommendations on how and whether to assist affected body corporates within a fortnight.

On Thursday he said he had provided that advice to Mr Anderson about a week ago, and the minister was considering it. A spokesman for Mr Anderson said the recommendaiotns put forward by the Building Commissioner would be considered by the minister and discussed with his Cabinet colleagues.

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