New laws in Queensland dealing with combustible cladding, which took effect from 1 October 2018, have a surprisingly wide reach.
In simple terms the laws apply to the following privately owned buildings that received development approval between 1 January 1994 and 1 October 2018:
- all residential and commercial buildings of 3 storeys or more; and
- motels, hotels, schools, aged care facilities and apartment buildings of 2 storeys or more.
The Cladding Regulations impose a 3-stage assessment process on owners of these buildings, managed through an online registry system to identify whether the building is affected by combustible cladding. Significant penalties can be imposed for non-compliance.
Stage 1 – Registration
Register the building with QBCC using the online portal ‘Safer Buildings‘ and complete a combustible cladding checklist (part 1) by 29 March 2019. Completion of this stage will determine if further action is required.
Stage 2 – Building industry professional statement
Where Stage 1 indicates that the building may be affected, the owner must then complete a combustible cladding checklist (part 2) and submit a statement to QBCC from a building industry professional addressing technical issues to identify whether the owner’s building may be affected by combustible cladding by 29 May 2019.
Alternatively, if the building owner knows or suspects that the building is affected by combustible cladding (in which case a statement from a building industry professional is not required), they may give notice to the QBCC by 29 May 2019 and proceed straight to Stage 3.
Stage 3 – Fire safety risk assessment
If Stage 2 indicates the building may be affected, the building owner must engage a fire engineer to conduct a building fire safety risk assessment and provide notice of that engagement to QBCC by 27 August 2019.
By 3 May 2021, a building owner must complete a combustible cladding checklist (part 3) and submit the fire engineer’s building fire safety risk assessment report on the cladding, and a statement from the fire engineer about the building fire safety risk assessment. The fire engineer’s assessment will determine if rectification is necessary.
Notice that a building is affected
If a building is affected by combustible cladding the building owner must:
- display a notice to that effect in a conspicuous position near the main entry point to the building;
- if the owner is a body corporate, give a copy of the building fire safety risk assessment to each lot owner and to each tenant of the building; and
- on the sale of the building, give notice to the buyer about the extent to which the Seller has complied with its obligations and a copy of all assessments and reports etc.
Please contact our office if you have any queries.