Investigation into cladding ‘ongoing’

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THE Victorian Bulding Authority and Frankston Council are working together to investigate if any further buildings in Frankston contain dangerous cladding.

Frankston mayor Michael O’Reilly told The Times that emergency orders were issued late last year to residents of a property in Culcairn Drive, which was found by a state government audit to have “combustible cladding.” 

“Council and the VBA are currently engaged in ongoing investigations across the municipality to determine if there are additional buildings that require the appropriate action,” he said.

Cr O’Reilly said the emergency orders served to the Culcairn Drive residents required the immediate implementation of short term safety measures.

“The Victorian Building Authority has made Council aware of a number of fire safety issues at a property in Culcairn Drive, including combustible cladding. Council has issued a number of building notices,” he said.

“Council continues to work closely with the Victorian Building Authority as part of the State-wide Cladding Audit to ensure that combustible cladding is addressed appropriately. In some cases this may mean that cladding will have to be removed from buildings, and fire safety improvements made. An emergency order was issued [at Culcairn Drive] by council’s Municipal Building Surveyor requiring short-term fire safety measures such as additional smoke alarms and the removal of potential ignition sources near cladding.

“The Victorian Building Authority engaged a Fire Warden for the site while several short-term fire safety issues were addressed. The Fire Warden was engaged to monitor the activity of those on site, ensuring residents and visitors were acting appropriately, not lighting barbecues and ensuring that flammable items weren’t placed near the cladding. The appointment of the Fire Warden allowed residents to remain in their homes, from just before Christmas, while the fire safety measures were addressed.”

A report in Nine’s The Age detailed the anger of residents who were expected to foot the bill for the works.

A state government scheme was set up late last year to provide financial support to people made to pay for the removal of dangerous cladding called the Cladding Rectification Agreement scheme. However, Cr O’Reilly said  that “council has not entered into the Cladding Rectification Agreement scheme, and any decision to do so would come via a council resolution.”

Kingston Council is one of a handful of councils that are signed up to the scheme.

“Council, the VBA and the Body Corporate continue to work closely together towards a positive outcome for the residents of this property,” Cr O’Reilly said.

First published in the Frankston Times – 25 February 2019

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