$1 billion needed to fix NSW’s flammable cladding ‘crisis’
The state's peak strata body has called on the NSW government to provide $1 billion to fix flammable cladding on apartment buildings across the state with 650 complexes identified as being at risk of fire.
Strata Community Association NSW President Chris Duggan says Premier Gladys Berejiklian should at least match the Victorian government's pledge to invest $600 million in fixing 500 private buildings at the "highest" risk of fire.
Building ministers have today gathered in Sydney for a crucial meeting to discuss reforms to the industry as concerns mount over flammable cladding and building defects that have seen three Sydney apartment complexes evacuated in just over six months.
Mr Duggan said the 650 NSW buildings identified as having cladding issues was "potentially an under-inflated number" because reporting is voluntary.
He said it would cost about $1 million to replace cladding on each apartment building.
"'We've got systemic crisis at the moment occurring across NSW with defects, cladding and issues that are all stacked against consumers," he said.
"We think $1 billion is a more appropriate figure. We've had 650 buildings who have self-assessed and registered on a register with the NSW state government so that's 650 buildings which will require immediate or near-term funding to rectify the cladding alone."
Mr Dugan said it was a "terribly devastating time for lot owners" in the wake of building defects sparking evacuations at Mascot Towers, Opal Tower and an apartment building in Zetland.
"They're fighting a system that's stacked against them, they're fighting with their hands tied behind their backs," he said.
Mr Duggan said many would be forced to dive into their mortgages or sell their properties if the NSW government didn't support the loan package.
"The buck needs to stop at the first thing with Gladys," he said.
"This is a NSW issue - these are NSW-centric problems. These are buildings within her state so whether she needs to leverage the federal government," he said.
Federal industry minister Karen Andrews said building ministers had brokered an agreement to fund a taskforce to implement recommendations from a recent report which identified serious failures in the construction industry.