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VBA to conduct new cladding audit

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has announced a new state audit to address flammable cladding on high-rise buildings.

Starting this month, the VBA will lead checks on: apartment complexes, motels and hotels (three storeys and above); buildings where Victorians gather as a large group, such as sporting arenas; and schools, private hospitals or aged-care facilities (two storeys and above).

Meanwhile, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will lead an audit of government buildings in Victoria.

“The VBA is committed to undertaking this work as efficiently and effectively as possible,” CEO Sue Eddy said. “We want to provide Victorians with confidence that they are safe from the dangers presented by combustible cladding.”

The audit will feature three stages: identifying the buildings, assessing their safety and rectification, where required.

The VBA was dealt a blow last month when the Supreme Court of Victoria decided the regulator does not have power to order builders to fix apartment blocks after residents have moved in.

Construction group LU Simon took the VBA to court after being ordered to fix six Melbourne CBD towers, and won, potentially leaving apartment owners back on the hook for rectification costs.