The ACT government has disclosed that potentially flammable cladding has been stripped from public buildings.

Yet remediation work for 13 additional structures with the possibly deadly cladding has not been finished, with the work anticipated to be completed before late 2022.

The rectification work was ordered in the wake of an audit which identified 23 buildings that required immediate work to lessen the fire risk.

Cladding has been depleted at Arawang Primary School, Erindale College, Lyneham Primary School, Melrose High School and Yarralumla Primary School.

Rectification labour has also reached completion at the Gungahlin Oval grandstand, the National Convention Centre, the Tuggeranong Child and Family Centre and a pair of public housing sites.

Sustainable Building and Construction Minister Rebecca Vassarotti before had refused to release the entire listing of buildings specified by the audit, referencing security risks.

More than 70 structures were named in the audit, which came in the wake of a deadly fire in the Grenfell Tower building in London, a council housing block retrofitted with flammable cladding.

The audit discovered that 23 would require instant rectification, while the remainder of the buildings initially would be subject to internal processes, a budget estimates hearing was notified in February.

The ACT government worried that “people could take matters into their own hands” if the full list was released and set fire to the structures, Vassarotti stated in July.

Affected persons, as part of the program, the government is working with these people and they know exactly what’s happening and how the work will be progressing, she said.

Vassarotti encouraged qualified owners’ corporations and strata managers to access the ACT government’s private buildings cladding plan, introduced in July.

The plan provides a rebate of half the costs of cladding testing and assessment, up to $20,000 excluding GST.

The second phase of the plan will supply concessional loans to apartment building owners who require the removal of the potentially deadly cladding.

Details of the loans are expected to be released in the first part of 2022, once most of the bulk of buildings have been tested in regards to their cladding.

The ACT government in August of 2020 had committed to a taxpayer-funded loan scheme to aid apartment owners in the determination as to whether their buildings had flammable cladding.

The ACT government’s economic recovery package, presented at that time, reserved $21.4 million to a pair of cladding rectification plans over a trio of fiscal years.

The government committed to the inspection of territory owned buildings after London’s deadly Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, in which 72 individuals perished.

The audit of 466 government-owned buildings uncovered potentially dangerous cladding panels at Centenary Hospital and five other ACT health buildings.

While the ACT government had declined to release a listing of identified buildings, it has said that none of the structures were at “immediate risk and were safe to occupy”.

A sum of $19 million has been reserved to remediate the government buildings named during the audit.

The Greens in 2019 called on the ACT government to expand the audit to address privately maintained buildings.



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