Extension request as hundreds of buildings need inspecting

 

QUEENSLAND'S peak body corporate group has formally asked the State Government to give thousands of property owners more time to prove that their buildings do not have combustible cladding.

The Strata Community Association (SCA) met the Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni, yesterday to push for an extension of the May 29 deadline for building inspections.

The Bulletin yesterday reported 677 Gold Coast buildings - and more than 5000 statewide - has been ordered to undergo an audit to determine if the buildings are free of the dangerous materials that fuelled the Grenfell Tower blaze in London in 2017, which claimed 72 lives.

The Grenfell Tower in 2017. Picture: Getty Images
The Grenfell Tower in 2017. Picture: Getty Images

Each inspection costs between $4000 and $6000, meaning property owners will fork out millions.

If body corporates fail to have their building checked before May 29 they face fines of up to $20,000.

SCA president Simon Barnard said the deadline was a major concern given the possible punishments.

"For body corporates to be able to comply with their own act, which is a separate piece of legislation, we need more time, given we have our own legal obligations," he said.

"This is a very serious matter and the body corporates we engage with want to get this right. It is simply a matter of time.

"We are not aware of any body corporates that have either been given an extension or been responded to but we understand there are a lot of extension requests being reviewed by the QBCC."

The Minister said he had listened to the SCA's concerns, which he would consider and forward to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission commissioner for advice.

Certifiers and peak industry bodies yesterday told the Bulletin that hundreds of checks still needed to be done during the next three weeks.

James Dunstan, the director of Professional Certification Group, said the QBCC process had not taken into account body corporate processes.

"We have more than 100 buildings on the books who are waiting to be audited - like everyone else we are extremely busy," he said.

"Most of the buildings have one or even a few body corporates which need time to call meetings, tender for at least three contractors and then vote - a process that can take months."

Mr Dunstan, who has raised his concerns with the QBCC, said he believed the process needed another 12 months.

Gold Coast Unit Owners Association president Wayne Stevens, who also served on the advisory QBCC panel, said he supported the timeline.

"I think it was a good idea and a good response … " he said. "People have the right to know if they are living in a dangerous building or not."



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