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New building fire safety laws have begun

20 December 2017

New laws to enhance fire safety in high-rise buildings came into force on Monday 18 December, and corporations using a banned product will be fined up to $1.1 million, and individuals up to $220,000.

The new powers form part of the NSW Government’s 10-point plan in response to the tragic Grenfell fire in June this year. Under the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017, the government can ban building products – for example, external wall cladding – from being used in unsafe ways.

NSW Fair Trading also have the power to investigate building products that may be unsafe for certain uses.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said: “Where appropriate, manufacturers or suppliers will be required to have their products analysed or tested to ensure they are safe.

“Builders, building product suppliers, manufacturers and importers can be compelled to produce records so dangerous building products can be tracked and pinpointed.

“The Grenfell fire was an absolute tragedy, and we have zero tolerance for shonky operators who are intent on selling or using unsafe building products.”

Mr Kean said the new laws also include provisions for the rectification of building work.

“NSW Fair Trading will notify the local council or relevant authority of any building that contains banned products for investigation.

“If appropriate, a rectification order will be issued, and NSW Fair Trading will closely monitor the progress of all buildings that have been referred for investigation – including making sure that steps have been taken to minimise the safety risks.”