Page 2352 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2022
on measures taken as part of this government’s plan for supporting the testing, assessment and remediation of combustible cladding on privately owned buildings, along with the assessment and removal of cladding from ACT government owned buildings.
I recognise that this issue has been a challenging one for apartment owners, who have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their premises and face an unanticipated cost to remediate their buildings. The government has sought to assist owners by providing a package of both practical and financial assistance.
The Private Buildings Cladding Scheme is designed to encourage and assist in the replacement of higher risk combustible cladding on privately owned buildings where their multi-owner nature might otherwise present a practical impediment to replacing such cladding.
The scheme is being delivered in two phases. Phase 1 is a testing and assessment phase, and phase 2 is the cladding remediation. Applications for phase 1 of the scheme opened on 21 July 2021 and closed on 21 July 2022. Phase 1 offered owners corporations a 50 per cent rebate on the cost of undertaking testing and assessment of cladding on their buildings to determine what risk, if any, the cladding posed. A maximum rebate of $20,000, excluding GST, was offered under the scheme.
In total, the scheme received 74 applications to access the rebate. Sixty-two of these applications have been approved, six were deemed ineligible, two applications were withdrawn, and four are still being assessed. To date we have received 20 testing and assessment reports, and the remaining applicants have until 21 December this year to submit their testing and assessment report to receive their rebate.
The original kerbside survey undertaken by ACT Fire & Rescue indicated that around 90 private buildings might need to undertake remediation work. Further investigation found that some of these buildings were commercial buildings or did not have cladding. Fifty-three owners corporations, some of which own complexes made up of multiple buildings, were identified as eligible and potentially requiring remediation. We received applications from 37 of these owners corporations, and the remaining 16 owners corporations have self-assessed as not having combustible cladding.
To raise awareness of the scheme, eligible owners corporations were kept informed through ongoing guidance, stakeholder engagement and consultation with related peak bodies. This included working with the Owners Corporation Network, Strata Communities Australia and ACT Fire & Rescue to host a series of presentations about the scheme and to provide fire safety education. The Major Projects Canberra team also provided one-on-one engagement to support individual owners corporations and strata managers throughout the testing and assessment process. This support will continue through the concessional loan phase.
To support owners to locate service providers who have qualifications, experience and insurances to undertake specialised cladding remediation assessment work in the ACT, Major Projects Canberra is maintaining a register of suppliers on its website.
The register includes all service providers that may be needed to test, assess and