Most of you would have heard about the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London, the 2014 Lacrosse building fire in Melbourne and/or the 2012 West Terrace fire in Bankstown NSW. The result of those fires is the renewed focus in fire safety laws for strata buildings, especially those with external combustible cladding.
In New South Wales, those laws involve:
- Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 (NSW);
- Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 – which was amended under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with External Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2018; and
- State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Exempt Development—Cladding and Decorative Work) 2018 (NSW).
In brief, the legislative framework seeks to (i) ban certain products from being installed on buildings (Type A or Type B construction) regardless of whether they may have a current CodeMark Certification, (ii) override various requirements of the BCA where there is an inconsistency with respect to the product bans, (iii) identify and collect information about buildings to which external combustible cladding has been applied, (iv) maintain a statutory register of the affected buildings with certain information to be provided to Fire and Rescue NSW and (v) to restrict or prohibit cladding and decorative work from being carried out as an exempt development.