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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 9844

Senator SINODINOS (New South WalesCabinet Secretary) (15:11): I want to add to an answer I gave at question time in response to a question from Senator Madigan. The Lacrosse Building fire in Victoria resulted from the use of a product that was not fit for purpose. The Victorian Building Authority confirms that this is an example of building practitioners installing a product that was not fit for purpose and therefore noncompliant. The VBA is continuing its investigation into the noncompliant use of cladding and will examine the conduct of the builder practitioner and the surveyor.

It is important to acknowledge that regulatory responsibility for building product compliance and enforcement sits with the states and territories. That is why the Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Science, the Hon. Karen Andrews, raised this matter at the Building Ministers' Forum on 31 July 2015. Apart from the work that that forum commissioned, which I mentioned in my answer, in terms of nonconforming building products, the BMF also agreed that a senior officers working group, with secretariat support provided by Queensland, consider strategies to minimise the risks to consumers, businesses and the community associated with a failure of building products to confirm to relevant state building laws and regulations and at point of import. That working group will also report to the BMF ministers in six months time on the strategies for addressing nonconforming building products in their jurisdictions. I welcome the work that is being undertaken on these matters and look forward to the outcomes being considered by the BMF in due course.