Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) — My question is to the Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade representing the Minister for Planning. At least 79 people are believed to have died in the inferno that engulfed the Grenfell Tower in London. Those pictures of the high-rise ablaze, I know, horrified us all. Worryingly Melbourne is not immune. In 2015 there was a fire in the 23-storey Lacrosse building in Docklands. It spread eight floors up in the building. The Melbourne Fire Brigade found the building’s cladding was untested and contributed to the spread of the fire.
An article in the Age today says:
… it has become clear that neither the Victorian government nor its agencies understand the full extent of the cladding threat across Melbourne.
The article then quotes the planning minister as slamming the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) for its response, but there is no information on what the government will do. My question is: what resources is the government devoting to identifying the extent of dangerous cladding in Melbourne?
Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) — Thank you, Minister. The VBA has identified at least six buildings that will need to be stripped of their cladding, and action is likely to be required on a further 17 CBD buildings, but that might just be the tip of the iceberg. Does the government have a plan in place to inform affected residents and force quick remedial action when dangerous cladding is identified on buildings?