Building cladding inspections in Moreland
In the wake of the deadly Grenfell Tower fire, the Victorian Government appointed a Cladding Taskforce in July 2017, to undertake an investigation into cladding on the state's buildings to ensure they adhere to safety standards.
Status of cladding audits
The Cladding Taskforce initially requested that Moreland City Council carry out cladding audits on 150 buildings. These audits have been completed.
Since then, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) in conjunction with the Cladding Taskforce requested that Moreland City Council carry out an additional 70 building audits. As of December 2018, Council completed 220 audits.
It should be noted that Moreland City Council did not issue building permits for the buildings which were audited. Buildings were issued with a building permit by a Private Building Surveyor, under the Building Act 1993.
Determining a building's level of risk
The Victorian Building Authority has a team that reviews the findings of the audit and provides specialist advice on the safety works which need to occur. At this time, the risk levels of 220 buildings have been identified.
Where a building is determined to pose a life safety risk, the Municipal Building Surveyor can make an emergency order to address immediate building safety issues to prevent loss of life.
The Municipal Building Surveyor has acted on the advice of the Victorian Building Authority and has already issued the required orders to the owners corporations or owners to undertake immediate works to reduce the fire risk to a safe level for occupation. All the orders have been issued and the immediate safety works have been completed to address immediate public safety concerns.
Outcomes of the cladding audits
No audited buildings in Moreland were found to warrant evacuation, based on life safety concerns.
For those buildings which have received a high-risk rating, written advice and directions have been provided to the owners corporation regarding any works which may be required.
Moreland City Council and the Victorian Building Authority are working with the owners corporations of buildings to ensure they are made safe to occupy. The Moreland Municipal Building Surveyor has met with the owners corporation committees, when requested, to provide advice and assistance on how to proceed.
Victorian Building Authority appointed as the Municipal Building Surveyor for some buildings
In September 2018, the Minister requested that the Victorian Building Authority assist all owners where their building was identified as having the highest risk to help provide consistent outcomes across Melbourne. In these cases, the Victorian Building Authority is the appointed Municipal Building Surveyor who works directly with the owners corporations.
As of February 2019, the VBA has written to those owners corporations of buildings impacted by this change.
Roles and responsibilities
The Municipal Building Surveyor has the responsibility for taking immediate action to address extreme safety concerns associated with any building in the municipality under the Victorian Building Act.
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) regulates registered builders and registered private building surveyors and plumbing practitioners in Victoria, including undertaking inspections, investigations and audits to ensure these practitioners comply with relevant legislation.
The Victorian Building Authority is the body responsible for receiving complaints regarding breaches of building legislation and the conduct of registered building practitioners, including builders and building surveyors.
Moreland Council has no legislative ability to investigate or take action in respect to the actions of licensed building practitioners.
Moreland residents with a question relating to their property can contact Council on 9240 1111.