More than half of the nearly 500 buildings in Sydney that fire authorities immediately send extra crew to in an emergency are clad in potentially flammable material, raising fears firefighting resources are stretched thinner across the city.
The data on buildings Fire and Rescue NSW classifies as needing an "upgraded response" comes as owners of high-rise towers remain in a bind over what to replace combustible cladding with.
The peak body for apartment owners said it was constantly contacted by people who were "unsure what to do and, often, unable to find reliable experts to assist them".
"There is currently no clear advice on compliant products, yet these volunteer committee members are facing council fire orders with strict deadlines for replacement, or hefty fines," Owners Corporation Network executive officer Karen Stiles said.
The Victorian government is spending $600 million to fix dangerous cladding.
Ms Stiles urged the NSW government to follow and commit money to help people fix buildings clad in risky material, which she said would also act as an economic stimulus. "It must do it now – not tomorrow or next month or next year," she said.