Labor is deeply disturbed that the Turnbull Liberals will not back Labor’s plan to protect Australians in their homes and workplaces by banning the importation of highly flammable polyethylene (PE) cladding.
Assistant Minister Laundy has refused the advice of the fire authorities and building industry to prevent this product entering the Australian market. Labor, however, has listened and will impose a ban as matter of urgency upon taking office.
Assistant Minister Laundy is clearly out of his depth, incorrectly claiming on ABC radio this morning that highly flammable polyethylene (PE) cladding is manufactured in Australia, when in fact it is all imported by Australian distributors.
The Senate Inquiry into non-conforming building products was told in July by cladding importer, Alucobond, that there are currently no manufactures of fire-resistant cladding in Australia:
Mr Rayment: There is in that some fire-resistant versions of the building facade products could be made, sourced and procured over time.
Senator KIM CARR: Can that be made in Australia?
Mr Rayment: No.
Once again Assistant Minister Laundy is claiming that the National Construction Code is adequate. But if this was the case how does he explain the prevalence of non-compliant cladding in thousands of Australian buildings?
The Minister has provided no plans on how to fix widespread certification fraud, product substitution, counterfeiting of products and gross malpractice currently occurring in the industry.
His statements today are further proof that the Turnbull Liberals do not take building safety seriously.
The Liberals must end the blame game and take responsibility to fix the systematic failure of the regulatory regime.
Each day the Turnbull Government fails to respond to the widespread misuse of these dangerous products, more Australian lives are put at risk.
If the Turnbull Government won’t fix this mess, a Shorten Labor Government will.