NSW Government agencies update external cladding regulation following Grenfell fire
17 August 2018
The NSW Government has introduced a new clause into the Home Building Regulation 2014 (NSW) to improve fire safety for NSW residents.

Since 2015, they have worked to address the fire safety risks posed by external flammable wall cladding.

Following the Grenfell fire in London on 14 June 2017, the NSW Government has implemented a coordinated government policy response to prevent a similar disaster happening in NSW.

NSW Government taskforce 

The inter-agency taskforce coordinated the NSW Government’s efforts to prioritise fire safety requirements for residential buildings and develop a plan to mitigate risks associated with external flammable wall cladding.

The taskforce was made up of representatives from the Data Analytic Centre, the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation, the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Department of Planning and Environment, Fire and Rescue NSW, the Office of Local Government and Treasury. 

The outcome

As a result of the investigation, external flammable wall cladding is now prescribed as a “major defect” under the home building legislation. A new clause 69A was recently introduced into the Home Building Regulation 2014 (NSW) to extend the definition of “major defect” to external flammable wall cladding. 

If a builder carries out residential building work and uses unsafe external flammable wall cladding, the builder is in breach of a statutory warranty under the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW). The owners will now have six years (post-completion) to have the builder repair or rectify the work.

Fair trading bans use of aluminium cladding

On 10 August 2018, the NSW Commissioner for NSW Fair Trading, Rose Webb, announced her intention to impose a ban on the use of certain aluminium composite panels.

According to NSW Fair Trading, the ban applies to panels with a core made up of more than 30 per cent polyethylene by mass in any external cladding, external wall, external insulation, façade or rendered finish in multi-story residential and commercial buildings.

The ban is intended to be effective as of Wednesday, 15 August 2018. Non-compliance with the ban could result in fines of up to $220,000 for individuals and $1.1 million for corporations.

You must act

Strata managers and leasing agents should:
  • Find out if properties you manage have aluminium cladding
  • Ensure appropriate fire safety measures are in place
  • Engage a fire safety professional to inspect cladding

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