The Victorian government’s latest move to prop up the building industry could spell financial disaster for owners of apartments with combustible cladding.
And that’s because allowing building certifiers and inspectors to operate with insurance policies that contain cladding-related exclusions – leaves owners hoping for a payout with even fewer legal avenues to pursue.
Simon Lockrey, an industrial design lecturer at RMIT University who owns a property with non-compliant cladding, says owners – some of whom face repair bills of up to $3 million – feel like they have “been thrown under a bus” following the government’s latest move.
The way he sees it, the decision shows the government cares more about greasing the wheels of industry than protecting the rights of citizens.
“The signal it’s sending is that they just want the building industry to keep going… and that they don’t care how that happens,” he said. “Someone’s got to provide some serious leadership and say ‘enough’s enough, we need to stop this industry right now, fundamentally change it, and then keep going’.
“Because if they keep doing things like this, it’s just compounding and compounding the pain.”