The Queensland government says proposed new building laws will crack down on potentially flammable building cladding, which is being blamed for London’s devastating tower block fire.
Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said the proposed laws, introduced last month, will give the state’s building regulator the power to stop unsafe products being sold and force existing buildings to remove dangerous cladding.
“The new laws will give the Queensland Building and Construction Commission power to investigate concerns around building products on both active building sites and existing buildings,” Mr de Brenni said.
“We want to make sure the regulator has the teeth to protect Queenslanders.”
There have been two incidents in recent years on the Gold Coast where substandard cladding was identified and replaced, as well as a third incident in Brisbane where a residential building was inspected and found to be compliant.
The minister stopped short of calling for a full review of cladding used in Queensland, saying the strengthened laws would be sufficient.
At least 12 people have been confirmed dead and many more are missing after a huge fire destroyed Grenfell Tower in London’s north Kensington.
There are reports cladding added to the building in a recent refurbishment may have helped spread the flames quickly.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner Mark Roche said the state’s firefighters are trained for high-rise fires.
“Recently in Brisbane we’ve just conducted four very large-scale exercises on high rise buildings, and we are doing that right across the state,” Deputy commissioner Roche told reporters on Thursday.
“We’ll be looking at what lessons are to be learnt (from the London fire), we have a very high regime of maintenance and inspection, and we’ve got the highest quality of people actually conducting it.”