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The Queensland Government’s Safer Buildings Combustible Cladding Checklist program has cleared almost 14,000 private buildings – confirming they are safe and secure for tenants and workers.

The program was established in 2018 to ensure all Queensland buildings meet safety requirements regarding building material use and provide occupants a ‘right to know’ if their home or workplace does not pass the test.

Under the program, which is conducted in three parts, nearly 14,000 private building combustible cladding assessments have already been completed and cleared, with two more years to go until the completion of the entire audit program.

Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni, said that under Part 1 of the program, 13,715 registrants out of 20,380 had successfully completed the audit at zero cost. The remaining 5026 registrants in the program will take Part 2 to rule out that the building is clad in combustible material.

“It’s been very pleasing to see that 14,000 building owners doing the right thing and clearing their building as safe,” said Mr de Brenni.

“Having almost 14,000 buildings registered means those who live and work there will now have peace of mind.”

After several fires in other states, the Commonwealth commissioned a national review that identified failure to comply with fire engineering guidelines had become a serious issue over many years.

Mr de Brenni said the report confirmed that the Queensland process was indeed required.

“The Shergold Weir Review showed that a minority in the building industry had failed to follow the rules and was putting lives at risk,” he stated.

Mr de Brenni further detailed that the building materials sector had worked hard to ensure that information about the safe use of materials was made available to consumers and builders.

“Building materials, when used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions are safe – that’s why manufacturers publish details of how they should be used. These details must be available and are usually easily identified on the manufacturer’s website.”

Part 2 of the Safer Buildings program will give building owners until 29 May 2019 to seek professional advice to confirm if their building meets the Safer Buildings guidelines.

“We will not risk discovering the next unlawful use of combustible cladding through a loss of Queenslanders lives in a high-rise building fire like those overseas,” the Minister said, “building owners who already know or suspect they have combustible cladding on their building are able to progress directly to Part 3 of the program, saving the cost of engaging a building industry professional.”

“So far the Safer Buildings process has done exactly what it needed to do – and thankfully owners are treating this issue seriously. It’s heartening to see that tenants’ safety is being put first, especially by those building owners going ahead to Part 3 of the program,” Mr de Brenni concluded.

Building owners required to complete Part 2 of the Safer Buildings combustible cladding checklist before 29 May 2019 can find more information here.