People’s safety is foremost, and some delayed information on the obsolete cladding of Sydney’s prominent buildings show that the same has been risked for some time now.
Facts and figures released under the Government Information (Public Access) Act (GIPA) reveal that about 11 of the most important work and social edifices of the city have claddings that need a complete replacement and close to 31 are in partial need for substitution, as they are extensively susceptible to fire accidents. The list of these buildings was released to Greens MP David Shoebridge.
These buildings include hospitals, office spaces, hotels and more. They have been identified as inflammable and pose a serious fire threat. Mr. Shoebridge said he was shocked the list was not publicly available.
“We have shopping centers, apartment blocks, university buildings, properties across the city that people live in, regularly visit, that are affected by flammable cladding. At the end of last year, they [the State Government] required buildings to register, they required councils to maintain lists of these properties with cladding, what we haven’t seen is a full audit of the properties, a remedial action plan, or even the publishing of the lists ” Mr. Shoebridge said.
More than a hundred more are awaiting assessment of their safety status. Sydney’s main Camperdown campus for instance that houses thousands of students, considers their safety a priority. Since 2017 claddings at the campus have been maintained but it hasn’t undergone official assessment. A separate highly specialized Fire Safety contractor has been employed by the university to probe and ensure that cladding is safe.
There is an urgent need for the involvement of the government to better source resident councils to assess at-risk properties, and to require building owners to rectify any issues.