The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science, Karen Andrews, must use today’s meeting of the Building Ministers’ Forum to take action on building fire safety following last year’s Lacrosse tower fire in Docklands.
In June the Department of Industry revealed in Senate Estimates that the Abbott Government has not taken any action to prevent a highly flammable building material being incorrectly used in apartment towers.
Today’s meeting of the Building Ministers’ Forum, which brings together Commonwealth, state and territory Building Ministers to discuss issues of national significance, has only occurred after repeated calls from Labor for the government to act on this issue.
The Abbott Government is responsible for the National Building Code and must explain what it is doing to prevent cladding products being used in buildings around Australia in situations that they are not designed for.
It's time for the Abbott Government to show leadership on issues relating to building materials and their certification to ensure that products are appropriately assessed for their purpose and intended use.
So far it has been left to the states and territories to coordinate this national issue and ensure that a similar devastating fire does not occur anywhere else in Australia.
Other authorities such as the Melbourne Fire Brigade have seen fit to undertake a national roadshow teaching firefighters across the country how to deal with this highly dangerous situation.
This is an issue with national implications and Karen Andrews must acknowledge the Commonwealth’s responsibilities, step up to the plate and act.
The public have a right to know that the buildings they live in are not death traps.