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SA government provides amended cladding fix program

The SA government has opened applications to provide building owners with financial support for the removal of combustible panel cladding in private buildings.

Eligible owner corporations will be able to secure a concessional loan of up to $15 million from the government to enable remediation work against the dangerous building material.

The government says the loans will hold a fixed interest rate and a term of up to 10 years, with no application fees set.

Guidelines for the program require works to be completed within five years of the first loan repayment and up to national building standards.

Combustible building gladding caught the attention of regulators after it was found responsible for notable strata complex fires, including the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London, which killed 72 people.

The program will serve as an amended version of a previous scheme to allow remedial works to take place with the support of 75% of lot owners, with prior versions requiring unanimous support for works that cost over $5000 per apartment.

SA Consumer and Business Affairs minister Andrea Michaels says the changes help “simplify the process” to ensure removal projects go ahead.

“Securing unanimous approval in a community title group – where you can have dozens of individual owners – can be a challenging task at the best of times,” Ms Michaels said.

“But especially when works are mandatory, and designed to address potential safety concerns, it’s essential that works can be approved and commence in a timely manner.”

Wendy Campana, who served as the Independent Cladding Co-Ordinator for the program, praised the changes as a crucial step for protecting strata residents.

“This scheme will be invaluable for those seeking funding support for their remediation works and the changes to the Community Titles Regulations further supports getting this work done,” Ms Campana said.