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Matt Kean MP
Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation

Government bans use of dangerous cladding

Fire safety in high-rise buildings will be enhanced by new powers to crack down on the dangerous use of building products, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean announced today.

Mr Kean said legislation going before parliament today would allow the Commissioner of Fair Trading to stop building products being used where they are unsafe.

For example, the Commissioner will be able to stop cladding being used unsafely in high-rise residential buildings.

Breaches of the new bans will render offenders liable to fines of more than $1 million for companies, and more than $200,000 for individuals.

“London’s Grenfell Tower tragedy was a horrific and stark reminder of the importance of doing all we can to make people in high-rise unit blocks as safe as possible,” Mr Kean said.

“Today, I am issuing a warning – we intend to be vigorous in using these new laws to make sure building products used in this state are fit for purpose.

“Any shonky operator who thinks they will be able to continue using the wrong product in the wrong place should think twice. We will throw the book at anyone who is found to have breached these new laws.”

Under the new laws, builders, building product suppliers, manufacturers and importers will be compelled to produce their records so dangerous products can be tracked and pinpointed. Failure to provide this information to Fair Trading will be a criminal offence, with penalties of up to $11,000.

Once Fair Trading identifies properties where building products have been used inappropriately, local councils will be notified.

The package gives councils increased powers to force rectification where there is a safety issue. The NSW Government will monitor councils’ progress.

Companies which continue to use a banned product will be liable to fines of up to $1.1 million, with fines of up to $220,000 for individuals.

“We are doing everything we can to identify unsafe buildings, and make sure they are made safe as quickly as possible,” Mr Kean said.