Architects welcome Victorian Cladding Taskforce interim report, call for urgent action

The Australian Institute of Architects welcomes the Victorian Cladding Taskforce’s interim report and unreservedly supports the finding that: ‘The problem of widespread non-compliant cladding can be attributed to three factors: the supply and marketing of inappropriate building materials, a poor culture of compliance in the industry, and the failure of the regulatory system to deal with these issues.’
Victorian Chapter President Vanessa Bird called for urgent action in response to the findings.

‘While auditing and rectification of existing non-compliance is important, immediate change is required to protect public safety in the future and remedy a poor culture of compliance in the industry,’ Ms Bird said.

‘We are calling for greater regulation and the registration of all building practitioners in Victoria to address the danger to our community posed by the de-professionalisation of building procurement over many years now.

‘We applaud the recommendation to restore of the role of Clerk of Works to oversee building works and provenance of building products, which traditionally has been the role occupied by an on-site supervising architect overseeing works.

‘We are calling for all practitioners in the construction industry to hold registration with either the Architect Registration Board Victoria, Building Practitioners Board or the Victorian Building Authority.’

‘Ensuring public safety in the built environment is the chief priority of the architectural profession.’
The Stakeholder Reference Group, of which the Institute was part, identified the ‘substitution of non-compliant products between the approval phase and the construction phase’ and ‘inadequate on-site inspection, supervision and quality assurance’ as significant contributing issues.
Over several years the Institute has identified a significant risk around substitution of specified materials.

‘Going forward, we seek greater regulation to address many of the issues that architects have identified over an extended period.’

‘Cutting red tape cannot and should not come at the expense of people’s safety.

‘We want to see compliance and enforcement mechanisms strengthened across jurisdictions to properly protect all Australians in their homes, workplaces and in our public spaces.’