Queensland is set to ban combustible cladding on all new buildings, after proposed new regulations gained industry support.
According to the Queensland Government, the ban would extend to all aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene (PE) core greater than 30%.
Queensland Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni, who proposed the new regulations, said the ban would help protect Queenslanders and is calling on the Commonwealth Government to protect all Australians by introducing a national importation ban on aluminium composite panels with a PE core.
“This is an opportunity to both reduce risk and back Australian manufacturing jobs,” de Brenni said, adding that a nationwide ban would also allow the Federal Treasury to rectify the retraction of the insurance market.
Under the proposed new regulations, certifiers would be required to declare that combustible cladding hadn’t been used and that there hadn’t been any product substitution during the construction process.
They would also be able to retain their licence, even if their professional indemnity insurance features cladding-related exclusions.
“By banning combustible cladding on new construction in Queensland, it means there doesn’t need to be an expense for certifiers in the form of exclusion-free insurance,” de Brenni said.
“However, allowing insurance with exclusions is a time-limited solution that provides the industry with immediate confidence to continue operating.”
According to de Brenni, insurers attempting to withdraw their insurance products has put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk and could potentially impact homeowners who would be “left holding the can if they have to pursue litigation with dodgy buildings”.
“Certifiers provide a level of protection for home owners and we need to keep them in the industry.
“It means that as of today, the 400 licensed certifiers in Queensland will continue to be able to work tomorrow, and that means our record on job creation will continue; however, subject to stringent conditions.”
While Queensland has led the way in permanent labelling of aluminium composite panels, reducing issues found through investigations around product substitutions and now, banning combustible cladding, de Brenni said there is still more work to be done.
“The restrictions are part of the immediate term resolution of the issues to be followed by a suite of longer-term system reform approaches including continuing to pursue a national ban on the importation of dodgy cladding,” he concluded.
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