The Victorian government has formed an expert panel to review the state’s building system, naming among its panelists Immediate Past President Melanie Fasham. The panel will be led by Anna Cronin, Chair and Commissioner for Better Regulation and Red Tape Commissioner, and also include British engineer Dame Judith Hackett, who rewrote her own country’s building regulations in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Among the panel’s first tasks will be the establishment of principles to guide the building system review and identify themes to be investigated and addressed throughout the reform process. The review will also address the recommendations of the Victorian Cladding Taskforce’s July 2019 Report and the Building Confidence report by Professor Peter Shergold AC and Ms Bronwyn Weir.

On 11 December, The Age published an exclusive story on the formation of the panel, quoting CEO Rebecca Casson, who said the inclusion of industry experts like Melanie Fasham was in line with an all-of-industry solution to cladding rectification.

In accord with the state government’s previously stated plans to implement a new building permit levy to fund rectification works by Cladding Safety Victoria, the VBA has announced an anticipated launch date of 1 January 2020. Click here to see the communication from the Victorian Building Authority.

The levy was approved through the Building Amendment (Cladding Rectification) Act 2019, for Class 2 - 8 buildings where the cost of building is $800,000 or more. These requirements are not applicable to works being carried out in regional Victoria. 

This levy will support governments involvement in the rectification of non-compliant cladding in Victoria and help improve the level of safety to the broader community. Master Builders Victoria will continue to be engaged with government to address the issues associated with non-compliant cladding systems.

The table below illustrates the new levy structure.