The Berejiklian Liberal-National Government has admitted that dangerous flammable cladding is on some of NSW’s most used public buildings, including Sydney’s Ultimo TAFE, and yet they failed to alert the public of the risks.
Today in NSW Parliament Budget Estimate hearings the State Government said that of 17 public buildings with yet-to-be rectified flammable cladding, two are “education facilities” (including Ultimo TAFE) and two are “health sites”.
In a recent GIPA request by Labor, the Government refused to give up the location of the 17 public buildings with cladding.
Today in Estimates, the Minister wouldn’t confirm whether one piece of cladding had been removed from these Government buildings even though students and workers use these buildings every day.
“We are talking about people’s safety – potential life and death situations,” Yasmin Catley, Shadow Minister for Building Reform, said.
“The Minister needs to provide leadership and take urgent action to rectify these buildings to keep the public safe, and in the meantime the least he can do is make people aware of the dangers,” she said.
The Minister also revealed that renters in 140-odd high rise buildings with high-risk flammable cladding would only “hopefully” know that their building is a potential death trap.
The Government noted that there was no existing protocol with standard procedures or checklists to guide councils, Fire & Rescue NSW or even strata managers to ensure a building is safe; that includes notifying new tenants about the dangers of flammable cladding.
“The Minister is asleep at the wheel on cladding – he hasn’t even attended a cladding taskforce meeting,” Ms Catley said.
“It’s clear the Minister needs to get across his brief on cladding and act on this issue instead of continuing to refer to ‘further assessments’. It’s time for action on flammable cladding.”
More than 500 buildings have been identified with potentially high-risk flammable cladding. Thirty-four public buildings were identified in the audit process, with 17 still requiring rectification work.