Page 4571 - Week 12 - Thursday, 26 October 2017

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(6) Are there building products used in Canberra that may be fraudulently badged/sold as something else, which might actually be this type of aluminium cladding.

(7) What is being done to ascertain if residential and ACT Government buildings have fraudulently badged cladding.

(8) Have retrospective Development Applications been granted in relation to changes to the use of aluminium cladding in construction materials.

Mr Gentleman: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The compliance of a material depends on a range of factors, including the properties of the material, where and how it will be used and the type of building it will be used in. This will indicate whether the material poses or contributes to an undue safety risk for occupants. The review of cladding seeks to identify where cladding has been used in a way that is not compliant with the building code.

(2) Replacement of panels and the responsibility for their replacement will be determined on a case-by-case basis in consideration of the level of risk, including whether the building complies with fire safety standards. Other risk mitigation measures to reduce high safety risks will also be considered. The review is to identify buildings that may pose a higher risk than anticipated by the building code and determine how best to manage those risks.

(3) The building code is performance based. There is no one prescribed way to comply with the code. The building code also does not single out particular products, but rather requires that certain building elements perform in a way to minimise the risks of occupants being injured or killed in a building fire and allow them to safely evacuate the building.

In certain buildings where occupants are at a higher risk of not being able to safely evacuate, the Code also requires that tenable conditions are maintained and the building's materials and assemblies must resist the spread of fire and limit the generation of smoke and heat and any toxic gasses likely to be produced for an appropriate time to allow safe evacuation.

The larger and more complex a building, or the more difficult a building would be to evacuate – for example, due to its height, the greater the fire protection and suppression required to meet the performance standard.

The Australian Building Codes Board advisory note explains the requirements relating to cladding in detail. It can be found on the ABCB website at

(4) (a) & (b) The use of ACPs is not restricted to buildings of a certain height. All buildings must meet minimum fire safety standards regardless of the material used on the building.

(c) If a building does not meet the building code, a Development Approval (DA) does not authorise or regularise the non-compliance. There would be no reason for, or benefit in, granting a DA relating to the use of particular cladding materials not in

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