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Victoria promises to pursue dodgy builders

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The Victorian Government has pledged to chase “dodgy building practitioners” through the courts on behalf of owners of apartments covered in combustible cladding.

It has already announced a $600 million cladding rectification program, administered by Cladding Safety Victoria. Other state governments have rejected following the Victorian model.

Last week the Building Amendment (Cladding Rectification) Bill 2019 was introduced to the state parliament, including a provision enabling the state to “chase wrongdoers through the courts” in cases where it is paying for rectification costs.

“These apartment owners find themselves in this situation through no fault of their own,” Planning Minister Richard Wynne said.

“They shouldn’t have to deal with the cost and stress that court action can mean, so we’re pursuing wrongdoers on their behalf.”

The legislation also introduces the building levy announced in July, which will be used to fund $300 million of the rectification program.

The levy applies to new permits for multi-storey buildings valued at more than $800,000, excluding single dwellings, developments in regional Victoria and schools and hospitals. Other projects such as social housing may also be exempt.

The rectification program is expected to take five years to complete.