Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 17 August 2017) . . Page.. 2914 ..
Minister what did you do to inform all ACT government agencies of these defective and not fit for purpose materials?
MR GENTLEMAN: I thank the member for her question. The work began before that time in regard to conforming and non-conforming building products and those building products that may have conformed but were used in an inappropriate way. That was some of the work the CFMEU was doing at the time. I asked the directorate to ensure that they would work with all government agencies to ensure that we had building products used in the proper way across the ACT. That work was done, and we have, of course, the report coming now with the working group on building products that are used in the correct sense across the ACT.
MS LAWDER: Minister, why has it taken two years for you to establish a task force to investigate the use of this aluminium cladding in Canberra, and how is that different from two years ago when you asked the directorate to work with all government agencies on the matter?
MR GENTLEMAN: The difference is, of course, that two years ago we were talking more about non-conforming building products, and a national discussion ensued. What we are talking about now is a building product that may conform but may have combustibility about it. Certain aluminium composite panels with a particular inner core can be combustible in certain circumstances. That is what occurred in the Docklands fire.
I am assured that nothing like that can occur in the ACT. Firstly, we do not have high-rise buildings of that nature in the ACT. Secondly, our fire retardant systems are more advanced, and we ensure that there are many other fire retardant opportunities, such as the best fire escapes, illuminated fire escapes, as well as a response from ACT Fire & Rescue in any of those circumstances. Today we heard from ACT Fire & Rescue directly in detail about the compartmentalisation of particular buildings that may have ACPs on the outside. They assured us that these buildings are safe; indeed it may well be that the occupants of such buildings are—
Ms Lawder: A point of order, Madam Acting Speaker.
MADAM SPEAKER: On a point of order. Could you stop the clock, please.
MS LAWDER: While I am interested in the information that Mr Gentleman is providing, as to relevance, I asked about the difference between the task force now and work that Mr Gentleman gave instructions about two years ago.
MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order and remind the minister of the provisions of standing order 118(a): that he be concise and directly relevant to the question, which was about the work currently being done and the work that you commissioned previously.
MR GENTLEMAN: The difference was between non-conforming building products and ACPs.