The Queensland Government has today announced its proposal to completely ban combustible cladding on all new buildings constructed within Queensland following discussions held by the Ministerial Construction Council yesterday. The proposal will see new regulations introduced into Queensland, banning all aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene core (which is commonly described as flammable and non-compliant) of greater than 30 percent and restrictions on the use of combustible cladding across all buildings throughout Queensland going forward. The Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni, is also pushing for the Commonwealth Government to introduce an importation ban on all aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene core.

It is no secret scientific testing has found that cladding comprised of a polyethylene core aids in the proliferation of flames and internal fire ignition. An outcome we have seen all too often in buildings through the world, including Lacrosse and Neo200 in Melbourne and the horrific scenes from Grenfell Tower in London in 2017.

Part of the proposal discussed at the Ministerial Construction Council meeting yesterday also included the possibility of certifiers remaining licensed even while holding professional indemnity insurance with cladding related exclusions. A large number of insurers have withdrawn their insurance products from the market after the issues with combustible cladding really came to the limelight in 2017, potentially impacting bodies corporate who are then left to pursue builders in litigation, which can not only be time consuming and expensive, but often unfruitful. Without insurers to pay out and appropriately licensed certifiers, the sector has been left in a state of flux. We hope these changes invite insurers back into the market and provide greater protection for consumers.

The Queensland Government is currently considering recommendations and we will keep you in the loop as soon as we know the next steps. Either way, this is a step in the right direction. We hope within the next two (2) years the risk of potentially deadly cladding on buildings throughout Queensland can begin to reduce.

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