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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1062 ..

We have given Major Projects Canberra a big work plan to deliver through this budget and our ongoing investments in other important projects, like the Canberra Hospital expansion. That is because we understand the importance of investing now to meet Canberra’s needs as we grow and continue to create more jobs for Canberrans as our economy bounces back after COVID.

Major Projects Canberra was established as an infrastructure delivery agency. Minister Steel is leading important work, ensuring that the government is getting on with the job of delivering our priority projects in light rail and the Woden CIT campus. I look forward to continuing to support this work.

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (11.49): The safety of our community is of the utmost importance and has guided our approach to the handling of potentially combustible cladding on buildings in Canberra. The government continues to develop its cladding rectification scheme, which consists of two parts. The ACT government program will rectify potential combustible cladding on a variety of ACT government-owned buildings, and the private sector program will support owners to rectify potentially combustible cladding on privately owned apartment buildings.

In 2020-21, $2.7 million in funding was made available to further investigate 21 identified ACT government buildings and undertake the engineering design work necessary for their rectification. That funding was also used to begin the rectification work on the first 11 of these buildings. Planning and engineering design is continuing for the 10 remaining ACT government buildings. The work on all 21 buildings is expected to be substantially completed in 2022.

A variety of different ACT government buildings are involved in the program of works. Major Projects Canberra is working very closely with all relevant areas across the ACT government to complete these works as soon as possible. I am pleased to note that the rectification works have proceeded very well to date, and I expect that will continue.

Regarding privately owned buildings, the ACT government announced last year that it will develop a concessional loan scheme to support eligible private owners to respond to potential cladding issues. The scheme recognises the practical challenges faced by certain building owners to address this issue without assistance. In its first phase the private building scheme will support eligible property owners to undertake fire risk assessment of their property.

The scheme continues to be actively developed after stakeholder engagement earlier this year. Major Projects Canberra and Treasury are working to finalise the exact technical and concessional loans arrangement for the program. I look forward to announcing further details as part of the 2021-22 budget process.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

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