NSW Cladding Taskforce

The NSW Cladding Taskforce was established to identify buildings with potentially combustible cladding and support local councils to address the use of non-compliant cladding materials. The Taskforce audited 185,000 building records and to date 4,127 buildings have been inspected.

Not all cladding is dangerous. There are a number of factors which are considered when determining whether cladding on a building may pose a higher risk including the total coverage, vertical coverage, positioning around balconies, windows or doors, as well as the types of building and the way it is used.

Action taken on external wall cladding

To determine if cladding is present and poses a higher risk, Fire + Rescue NSW (FRNSW), on behalf of the NSW Cladding Taskforce, conducted an operational assessment of each building. Buildings considered a higher risk were referred to consent authorities (Local Councils or Department of Planning, Industry and Environment) for further investigation. A significant number of these have already been cleared.

Buildings are considered cleared if:

  • they do not have cladding that FRNSW considers increases safety risks
  • the cladding has been investigated and cleared by a consent authority
  • unsafe cladding has been fully remediated.

Current status as at 13 December 2019

An image showing the number of inspections (4127), buildings cleared (3664) and buildings under review, assessment of remediation (463)

There are 463 buildings in progress to be cleared. These include 34 additional buildings recently added from the Cladding Register and/or reported by councils to the Taskforce. The buildings are at different stages in the process, which are shown here.

  • 73 - awaiting update or assessment by consent authority
  • 255 - an expert assessment is in process
  • 52 - detailed remediation action plan requested from the building owner or received by the consent authority
  • 83 - remediation is underway or has been ordered or approved by the consent authority

Buildings by height and class

No. of storeys1 to 34 to 89 and above
No. of buildings47256160
No. of residential (class 2 and 3)9163108

Who are the consent authorities?

Consent authorities are either local councils or the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE).

They are responsible for assessing fire safety provisions and deciding if buildings are cleared or require remediation.

Government buildings are managed directly by the relevant department.

An image showing the number of buildings overseen by government (8), DPIE (41) and councils (414); and the number of councils (36).

Further information

Information for tenants or residents

Tenants should contact their real estate manager or private landlord to:

  1. Find out if their building has aluminium cladding
  2. Check whether their building's fire safety statement is up-to-date
  3. Determine if a fire safety professional is required to, and has, inspected any cladding

More information for tenants and residents

Information for owners or landlords

Owners should contact their strata managing agent, building manager, property manager or maintenance manager to:

  1. Find out if their building has aluminium cladding
  2. Check whether their building's fire safety statement is up-to-date
  3. Determine if a fire safety professional is required to, and has, inspected any cladding

More information for owners or landlords

Information for builders

Builders who think they may be using or installing banned cladding on a multi-storey building described by the ban should contact the supplier or manufacturer to confirm whether the product is banned. If it is, the builder must stop using the product and discuss options with the principal contractor, developer or other relevant party.

More information for builders

Information for strata managing agents and building, property and maintenance managers

Strata managing agents, building, property or maintenance managers for multi-story residential buildings should:

  1. Find out if your building has aluminium cladding
  2. Check whether your building's fire safety statement is up-to-date
  3. Engage a fire safety professional to:  
    • review and inspect the cladding - including the suitability of the type of material used and installation method
    • check the overall fire safety of the building
    • provide an assessment of any steps

Immediate action must be made to make any recommended changes to the building.

More information including how to engage a fire safety professional

Information for real estate agents

Real estate agents currently leasing apartments in multi-story residential buildings should ensure buildings are safe by checking the external wall cladding and ensuring appropriate fire safety measures are in place.

More information for real estate agents

Information for councils

The Guide for the assessment of buildings with combustible cladding helps councils and other authorities undertake combustible cladding risk assessments  and determine next steps. It has links to assessment tools and methodologies.

The combustible cladding building assessment flowchart goes through the steps from initial assessment to rectification. It's a guide only and councils should use their discretion.

Two fire safety order templates are also available for cladding audit reports and rectification works.

The work done so far

Audit & building identification

From June 2017, the Data Analytics Centre and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment started audits of building records to identify sites across NSW that may have had cladding installed. The Taskforce also identified potentially affected buildings through Fire + Rescue NSW (FRNSW) local area inspections, reports from councils and registrations by owners on the NSW Cladding Register.

Inspections

FRNSW inspects all buildings identified by the Taskforce for the presence of potentially combustible cladding.

For each potentially high-risk building, FRNSW has drawn up rapid response plans to be used in the event of a fire.

FRNSW will continue to visit any new properties identified as possibly having combustible cladding.

Letters to owners and residents

Since July 2017, the taskforce has sent over 62,000 letters to building owners and residents with information on how to ensure cladding is properly assessed and how they can prioritise fire safety and reduce the risks of a fire. This includes writing to all tenants of potentially high risk buildings, using rental bond data.

Letters to councils

Since December 2017, for each of the buildings identified as potentially high-risk, the Commissioner for Fire and Rescue NSW has written to the relevant local councils requesting their authorised fire officers inspect the buildings, assess provisions for fire safety, and report back to FRNSW.

Changes to legislation

In October 2017, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Fire Safety and Building Certification) Regulation 2017 began.  It strengthens fire safety certification for new and existing buildings and helps improve the design, approval, construction and maintenance phases of the building life cycle.

In December 2017, the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 came into effect. It introduced new laws to prevent the use of unsafe building products. It supports laws that are already in place to promote the safety of residential, commercial and industrial buildings in NSW.

Awareness campaign

In February 2018, the taskforce launched an advertising campaign outlining the steps residents can take to ensure they have the information and expert advice they need to make sure their building is safe.

Cladding ban

In August 2018, the NSW Fair Trading Commissioner issued a building product use ban that prohibits the use of aluminium composite panels (ACPs) with a core comprised of greater than 30 per cent polyethylene on certain types of buildings.

To find out how this ban might affect you, read more about the aluminium composite panel ban.

Cladding support unit

In September 2019, the NSW Government established a support unit to act as a single point of contact and assistance for local councils dealing with cladding issues. The unit is working with councils to understand the status of cladding-affected buildings across NSW, facilitate information sharing and consistency, and identify and troubleshoot any issues preventing the timely assessment and clearance of buildings. Councils can email the unit at claddingsupport@customerservice.nsw.gov.au.

About the Tasforce

About the Taskforce

The taskforce is led by the Department of Customer Service and includes representatives from NSW Fair Trading, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Fire + Rescue NSW, the Office of Local Government, Treasury and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

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