NSW Fair Trading has announced a ban on aluminium cladding in New South Wales to prevent the occurrence of a Grenfell Tower-like fire.
The ban will cover all aluminium composite panels featuring a core of more than 30 percent polyethylene, which causes fire to spread rapidly. This decision will impact all external cladding choices made for residential buildings higher than two storeys as well as commercial buildings higher than three storeys.
According to the NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rose Webb, the fire in both the Grenfell Tower in London and the Lacrosse Building in Melbourne was caused by aluminium cladding. Having been presented with evidence and expert advice, she was satisfied of the material’s safety risk.
More than 400 buildings featuring this dangerous cladding have been identified across NSW by the NSW Cladding Taskforce.
The use of this product after the ban will draw heavy penalties including fines up to $1.1 million. The ban will retrospectively cover those buildings where this cladding was previously installed.
However, in the absence of clear guidelines on fixing liability for replacement of the dangerous cladding, homeowners may have to foot the repair bill.
Even the latest product ban is drawing flak from homeowners who complain that enforcement of existing regulations was seriously lacking in this matter.