A statewide audit has identified three Ballarat buildings that are constructed with combustible cladding, with a further three buildings in Moorabool and one in the Pyrenees shire also found to be at risk.
The audit of privately-owned buildings has been underway since December 2017 following several fires in Melbourne and around the world, including the June 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy in London which claimed the lives of 72 people.
As of July 5, 2227 buildings had been inspected across Victoria, and of those buildings 1069 with cladding were referred to independent expert panels established by the Victorian Building Authority.
Three buildings have been identified as containing the suspect cladding in Ballarat but the VBA has not released details of locations and buildings.
Last week, inspectors from the Statewide Cladding Audit team carried out 19 inspections on buildings from seven different municipalities. For more information on actions from across the VBA, go to: https://t.co/avE8TFBgRXpic.twitter.com/kyTWECfIWr— Victorian Building Authority (@VicBuilding) July 17, 2019
The audit is targeting three categories of buildings at highest risk - apartment buildings and short term accommodation such as hotels, motels and student accommodation that are three storeys or higher; and public buildings such as private hospitals and schools and aged care facilities that are two storeys or higher.
Two types of cladding - aluminium composite panels (ACP) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) - that are known to easily combust and allow fire to quickly spread between floors have been used on many Victorian buildings, putting residents at risk.
The state government established a Victorian Cladding Taskforce in 2017, and earlier this week announced Cladding Safety Victoria, a new body within the VBA to provide support and funding to apartment owners to remove cladding on their buildings.
When an apartment building has been audited and assessed as having heightened fire safety risk, it will be referred to Cladding Safety Victoria.
Of the more than 2200 buildings audited across the state, about 900 have been found to need some kind of rectification work including 15 deemed at the highest risk and needing urgent repairs.Another 500 sites will be inspected in the coming year.
"The VBA has extensive monitoring and enforcement programs under way. Practitioners whose work does not meet building standards can expect the VBA to use the full force of its regulatory powers to stop them," said VBA chief executive Sue Eddy.
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