Cladding must be fixed immediately on seven buildings
FLAMMABLE cladding at high-risk levels has been identified in dozens of South Australian buildings, including seven that have been deemed “extreme” and require immediate remedial work. Results of an audit – instigated in July 2017 following London’s Grenfell Tower fire, right, – have prompted calls for the State Government to do more to keep residents safe.
The audit to identify public and private buildings with dangerous levels of cladding known as Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP) has 30 high-risk buildings needing attention to make them safe.
The audit has prompted calls for more action from the State Government after it confirmed it would be the responsibility of councils to advise building owners of the risk rating of properties.
Building owners will then be responsible for advising residents, because the locations will not be made public.
The audit found seven privately-owned buildings were assessed as “extreme risk”, meaning they require immediate action and remedial work.
Two publicly-owned buildings were deemed high-risk; one is under construction and is not accessible to the public and the other is a toilet block, which will be remediated within weeks. A further 21 private buildings have been assessed as high-risk, requiring remedial action needs to be carried out within 12 months.
Locations of the buildings will not be released over terrorism and arson fears.
Infrastructure Minister Stephan Knoll said that decision was in line with other states, and security and safety was the primary reason.
“As a government, safety is at the forefront of all our decisions and that’s why we will not be disclosing the exact locations,” Mr Knoll said.
“We will continue to update South Australians on how the remediation works are progressing as appropriate.”
Opposition infrastructure spokesman Tom Koutsantonis said the Government needed to provide more details.
He said while he understood the reasons behind not making the locations public, people living and working in the high-risk buildings needed to be informed.
“Any South Australian going home to live in an apartment has a right to know from their government, whether or not the building they are staying in, the building their children are sleeping in, is safe,” Mr Koutsantonis said.
Mr Knoll said he would be working with councils and private building owners to ensure remediation works were carried out as quickly as possible.
They had worked with the MFS for “heightened awareness and response procedures for the 28 buildings with unacceptable levels of risk”, he said.
But councils would be responsible for ensuring owners of private buildings have updated them to an acceptable level. “It is our expectation that building owners will notify occupants of their respective buildings and keep them informed throughout the remediation process as appropriate,” Mr Knoll said.
A Local Government Association SA spokesman said councils had powers to serve notice on a building’s owner if they were not satisfied with the fire safety. They could require the owner to carry out a program of works or take measures to ensure safety.
Property Council SA executive director Daniel Gannon said he had sought answers about the extent to which owners would be forced to reclad buildings at their own cost.
It’s our expectation building owners will notify occupants