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Greens set out solution to cladding ‘emergency’

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The Greens have urged Canberra to adopt the political party’s five-point plan to address the flammable cladding crisis.

Federal MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt unveiled the proposal last week, which includes an initial $50 million for an “emergency cladding safety fund” to help apartment owners pay for urgent removal of combustible materials.

Federal and state politicians are under growing pressure after the UK announced it will spend £200 million ($373 million) replacing unsafe cladding in 170 privately owned high-rise buildings.

“This is an emergency,” Mr Bandt said. “It’s a disaster waiting to happen and we need immediate action.

“Governments are passing the buck and forcing residents to fix the problem, which means more time for another disaster. The Government should step in, fix the cladding now, then recoup the cost from developers afterwards.”

The Greens’ plan also calls for a national audit of all high-rise buildings and a ban on the import of “unsafe” flammable cladding, as recommended by a Senate inquiry.

The Building Code should be amended to include a ban on the materials in construction and the Federal Government should consider a new levy on developers to recover the cost of fixing the cladding problem.

The Strata Community Association has backed the proposal.

“The Greens’ five-point plan removes the responsibility from strata residents and owners of having to pay substantial amounts to remove combustible cladding from high-rise buildings in Australia,” CEO Alisha Fisher said.

“We urge minor parties in the lead-up to the federal election to seek justice for the many thousands of strata owners who should not have to foot the multibillion-dollar bill.”