Lower risk of Queensland unit fires

Lower risk of Queensland unit fires

Lower risk of Queensland unit fires

The level of risk for apartment building fires in Queensland is lower than in London’s fatal Grenfell
Tower blaze, according to the peak body representing Australia’s insulated building panel industry.

The Insulated Panel Council Australasia (IPCA) says regulations and legislation designed to make
high-rise buildings safer have been in place for some time and have been beefed up by new laws
that were passed in State Parliament in May.

“The new laws are designed to prevent the use of non-conforming construction products in
Queensland so there will be a lower risk of building fires,” said IPCA chief executive officer Ron
Lawson.

He said because most of the relevant legislation in Australia is state-based and not federal, states
need to be encouraged to take action, and Queensland is doing so.

“That’s not to say fires can’t happen, but we as an industry are doing everything we can to minimise
the risk. Building regulations should improve safety, health and amenity.

“Getting legislators to put rules in place and then industry following them with the rules or
legislation being enforced, is crucial to building safety and that’s what is happening.

“Audits have already been done on cladding materials used in high-rise buildings in Australia, but we
share concerns that some want to water down our regulations.

“That would simply undo all the good work to date to improve them.”

Mr Lawson acknowledged there are some non-compliant buildings that were not built according to
the code.

“We don’t need new audits of those buildings as has been suggested, but we could have better
qualified people take another look at them and make recommendations on prioritising the
replacement of non-compliant material.”