Safety concerns regarding cladding in apartment buildings have come into sharp focus following a fast-moving fire at a Melbourne apartment building in early February. Now, the first ‘cladding deadline’ relating to the proper use of construction materials looms in both Queensland and New South Wales.
Designed to reduce the threat of bushfires, the new cladding-related legislation process must be adhered to, with Part 1 of the Safer Buildings checklist due by 29 March 2019. Failure to complete Part 1 may result in fines and the legal obligation to complete Parts 2 and 3, which require expert advice at a cost.
Here’s a bit more information about the process, and what Bodies Corporate must do.
Which properties must comply with new legislation?
The new legislation – which is Part 1 in a multi-part scheme to improve safety and reduce risk – uses an online registration process managed by the Queensland government.
“The checklist is about ensuring the safety of Queenslanders wherever they live, work or play,” said QBCC Commissioner Brett Bassett in a media release. “It’s very important for building owners to register their property through the Safer Buildings website.”
Queensland property owners, property managers, and body corporates must register and complete the checklist if their building meets the following criteria:
- The building has at least two units and at least two storeys
- The building obtained a development approval for construction or altering of the cladding after 1 January 1994 and before 1 October 2018
- The building is a Class 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 building
- The building is of a Type A or Type B construction
If you’re not sure about your property’s classification, refer to this useful Classification Summary from the QBCC.
Can a Body Corporate Manager Submit the Checklist?
The safer buildings website states:
“If you are an existing body corporate manager and already have authority to act on behalf of the body corporate, you can register and complete the checklist on behalf of the body corporate. You will need to complete Part A of the Proof of Agency Form and upload a document evidencing your authority to act on behalf of the body corporate.”
If you need more time to complete the checklist
If you require an extension, your request must be submitted prior to 1 March 2019. If you’re reading this before 1 March, use the QBCC Form 31 to request a time extension.
What happens if you fail to comply?
If you fail to register before 29 March, you or the Body Corporate may face a fine of $2,611. In addition, you will be required to complete Part 2 – a building industry professional report, which will incur cost.
In summary, we urge everyone to contact their body corporate committee now to ensure that your building has been registered and the checklist completed and lodged online.
It’s your safety and money at risk, after all.