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The Victorian Government established a world-leading response to the threat posed by combustible cladding with the creation of a specialised agency, Cladding Safety Victoria (CSV) and a program to rectify buildings found to be at highest risk. So far, the risk of fire spread from combustible cladding has been addressed on more than 360 privately owned or government-owned buildings – making Victorians safer.
The focus now is on assisting owners of buildings where combustible cladding is present but presents a lower risk. This will occur through the Cladding Remediation Partnership Program between the Department of Transport and Planning (DTP), local councils, CSV and building owners.
Through this program, the Victorian Government is supporting councils to manage the remediation process with clear policy around how cladding risk is assessed, and a procedure for how risk can be addressed.
The objective is to provide owners with a pathway to mitigate cladding risk at the lowest cost which will also satisfy any enforcement issued by a municipal building surveyor (MBS). Because such proposals will be the product of collaboration between CSV and MBSs, building owners will have clarity and certainty about what they need to do.
Buildings covered by the program
The program ensures all in-scope buildings such as Class 2 and Class 3 buildings three storeys and above, and Class 9 buildings two storeys or higher, have a pathway to remediation.
Minister’s Guideline and Cladding Risk Mitigation Framework
MG-15 was published in the Victoria Government Gazette No G 38 on Thursday 21 September 2023 at page 1715.
MG-15 provides councils, MBSs, and owners with clear policy around understanding risk, how it is assessed and a procedure for how risk can be addressed.
The documents consider cladding remediation solutions that address cladding risk without full removal of combustible cladding. The CRMF is consistent with the Victorian Government’s established approach to risk and is based on technical tools developed by CSV, which determine risk by fire spread rather than by assessing a comprehensive list of building elements. In many cases this will result in a significant reduction in the costs borne by affected owners to address cladding risk while improving building safety.
Revocation of Victorian Building Authority as Municipal Building Surveyor
The VBA has undertaken assessment of a substantial number of extreme and high-risk rated buildings over the past three years. The VBA’s MBS responsibilities have been revoked to enable the VBA to transition out of the process. For further information visit the Victorian Building Authority
Cladding rectification program
The Victorian Government’s $600 million cladding rectification program ensures Victorians are safer by reducing the risk associated with combustible cladding on residential apartment buildings.
In 2019 the Victorian Government established CSV to collaborate with owners and owners’ corporations to help them rectify non-compliant or non-conforming external wall cladding products on buildings. CSV provide support, guidance, and connections to appropriately registered and qualified practitioners.
The function of CSV is governed by the Cladding Safety Victoria Act 2020.
In addition to the Cladding Rectification Program the Victorian Government committed $110 million to a program to reduce the risk of combustible cladding on government-owned buildings. CSV has worked with departments across Victoria to ensure rectification works are complete and buildings are safe to occupy.
Prohibition of combustible external wall cladding
In 2021 the Minister for Planning declared the Prohibition of Combustible Materials Rulings in accordance with legislation such as the Building Act. Details of prohibited products
Funding eligibility and prioritisation
Residential and public buildings must meet certain eligibility criteria to receive funding under the Cladding Rectification Program.
In most cases, the State-wide Cladding Audit undertaken by the VBA in 2019 identified high-risk buildings. Owners of buildings found to contain high-risk combustible cladding may be eligible for the Cladding Rectification Program.
Other options to consider for cladding rectification works include:
Cladding Rectification Agreements (CRAs)
- securing a traditional strata loan
- refinancing an existing mortgage
- other forms of personal loans.
Page last updated: 01/11/23