The NSW government has refused to offer any funding assistance to address the cladding remediation problem in the state.
With 629 buildings identified as being at risk across NSW including 340 in Sydney alone, Strata Community Australia, the peak industry group for body corporates, had called for a $1 billion relief package to help building owners replace the existing cladding on their properties.
Even as Australia's building ministers met recently in Sydney to address the current crisis in the industry, with cladding and insurance issues topping the agenda, federal industry minister Karen Andrews reiterated the need for state and territory governments to step up and fix the dangerous cladding problem.
Though Victoria has announced a $600 million package for cladding replacement on about 500 buildings, the NSW government has refused to offer a similar relief package with a spokesperson from the office of Better Regulation minister Kevin Anderson dismissing the $1 billion figure estimated for replacing dangerous cladding on buildings in the state.
According to the spokesperson, the demand was not based on facts since several of the buildings would not require remediation work.
Strata Community Australia president Chris Duggan, who had made the request for the $1 billion funding package, explained that building owners from big corporations to individual homeowners would have to pay for the remediation themselves in the absence of any loan or subsidy package – homeowners especially will have to move out, sell their properties or be left without a home.
While the NSW government has consistently refused to release the list of buildings with potentially combustible cladding, documents accessed by Greens MP David Shoebridge from the City of Sydney council under Freedom of Information laws reveal that a number of prominent Sydney buildings including the Macquarie Bank building at Barangaroo, Mantra Hotel on Kent Street, The Pullman Sydney Hyde Park Hotel and The Star Casino require remediation.