EX­TREME RISK

Cladding must be fixed im­me­di­ately on seven build­ings

The Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - MATT SMITH PO­LIT­I­CAL ED­I­TOR

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

STEPHAN KNOLL

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