Both houses of the NSW parliament have passed the “Building Products (Safety) Bill 2017

The Bill is the latest in a series of steps taken nationally in a response to both the Port Melbourne “Lacrosse fire” in Victoria and the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London. This bill is similar in its intent to the QLD Non-Conforming building products regulations.

Source: https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/bills/Pages/bill-details.aspx?pk=3471

 

Banning Combustible Cladding In Victoria

The Andrews Labor Government will ban the most dangerous types of combustible cladding from being used on Victorian buildings.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne today released new ministerial guidelines to building surveyors – a key recommendation of the Victorian Cladding Taskforce – which focuses on buildings where people sleep or gather.

Aluminium Cladding Panels with a polyethylene core of more than 30 per cent will be banned on all multi-storey buildings. Expanded polystyrene will also be banned.

The new ministerial guidelines spell out precisely what can’t be used on Victorian building sites for suppliers and practitioners in the building chain, spelling an end to the use of dangerous, flammable materials.

Mr Wynne has directed the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to issue a product safety alert, and building practitioners who ignore this directive will face disciplinary action from the VBA.

Last year, the Labor Government established the Victorian Cladding Taskforce to investigate the extent of non-compliant cladding on Victorian buildings.

The Taskforce is chaired by former Premier Ted Baillieu and Deputy Premier John Thwaites, and handed down its initial report in December.

The Taskforce originally identified 1,369 buildings as most likely having Aluminium Cladding Panels with a polyethylene core or Expanded Polystyrene, but already that figure is decreasing.

Of those buildings, it’s since been established that 579 have not begun construction, and a further 129 are half built.

The Labor Government has beefed up the powers and resources of the (VBA), which has already assessed 87 buildings as part of a statewide audit.

If buildings are found to be non-compliant, the VBA and Municipal Building Surveyors are issuing emergency orders, ensuring additional measures are put in place to meet the highest standards of safety.

Building practitioners are now on notice, with the Government directing the VBA to inspect more of Victoria’s buildings each year, from less than two per cent annually to 10 per cent.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“We’re putting a stop to dangerous combustible cladding being used on Victorian buildings. This has been allowed to go on for too long and we’re ending it.”

“The rules are clear: if builders use these dangerous flammable products, they’ll face disciplinary action from the VBA.”

“There’s nothing more important than public safety, which is why we’re cracking down on the use of dangerous materials on worksites.”

 

Source: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/banning-combustible-cladding-in-victoria/

False claims up in flames as company pays penalty

Queensland Government home

A Sydney based company and its director have entered into an enforceable undertaking with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), for alleged breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Between 2 July 2015 and 20 January 2016, Peter Jones, director of Fire Combat Australia Pty Ltd (which previously traded as Modakboard), imported and sold fire-resistant magnesium oxide boards which were marketed as being Codemark certified to meet international safety standards.

Mr Jones obtained CodeMark certification in 2011, via an authorised independent certification company known as CertMark International. However, in 2015, CertMark International suspended, then cancelled the Modakboard CodeMark certification.

Mr Jones failed to remove all references to the Codemark certification of the building product from his website, and later made further misleading representations about the products his business sold.

Fire Combat Australia agreed to enter into an undertaking to demonstrate its commitment to its obligations under the ACL.

The enforceable undertaking will remain in force for three years and requires Fire Combat Australia to supply documentation to the OFT if requested at any time to substantiate any claims made regarding product certification.

A penalty of $12,960 has been paid by Fire Combat Australia.

Fair Trading Acting Executive Director Craig Turner said businesses must not take shortcuts and make inaccurate claims to consumers.

“Making misleading representations about a product, particularly ones which are supposed to offer protection from fire, is reckless,” Mr Turner said.

“Purchasers of building products should be able to rely on the representations being made by traders, as misleading representations about certification may potentially inhibit or delay the final approval of the building.”

Associations and consumers may report misleading representations to the OFT by lodging a complaint at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

An enforceable undertaking by the OFT is an alternative to court action where a breach of legislation is alleged. It is considered a legally binding agreement, which if broken can result in court action being commenced for breaking a term or condition of the undertaking, as well as seeking orders from the court to enforce the original undertaking.

Source: https://www.qld.gov.au/law/laws-regulated-industries-and-accountability/queensland-laws-and-regulations/fair-trading-services-programs-and-resources/fair-trading-latest-news/media-statements/false-claims-up-in-flames-as-company-pays-penalty

A CodeMark Certified Product MaxiWall (AAC) mentioned in the HIA Housing Magazine November Issue

HIA

In the HIA’s November 2017 issue of Housing magazine p47 has an article on cost-competitive concrete.

The product mentioned is MaxiWall (AAC) by Big River Group. This product is CodeMark Certificate accredited by CertMark International.

You can find their CodeMark Certificate and Installation manual on our certificate register at the following link.
https://register.certmark.org/register-search/?gv_search=CM40185

HIA Housing Magazine: https://hia.com.au/housing
Direct link to the page mentioned : http://v3au.zone-secure.net/drive/9817/443771/#page=48

HIA Housing Magazine: Potential Ban on PE-cored ACP

HIA

In the HIA’s November 2017 issue of Housing magazine p14 has an article on Product quality.
Of particular note in this article is that following the senate inquiry into non-conforming building products, Senator Nick Xenophon introduced a bill seeking to ban the importation of PE-cored ACPs into Australia.

https://hia.com.au/housing
Direct link to the page mentioned : http://v3au.zone-secure.net/drive/9817/443771/#page=16