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New Queensland law requires all building owners to check their properties by 29 March 2019

You may recall our article last year titled The Legacy of Grenfell - Combustible Cladding in Queensland where we notified you about the flow-on effects of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower and subsequent investigation into buildings which may have combustible cladding in Queensland.

One outcome of these investigations was the creation of new laws in Queensland which require all building owners to register their buildings and undertake a three stage online checklist to determine whether the building is affected. These new laws are outlined in the Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018 (Qld).

Even if it does not contain combustible cladding, your building will be caught out by the new legislation if:

  1. it is any of Classes 2 to 9 (everything residential and commercial other than houses and townhouses with a flame-retardant ‘party wall’); and
  2. it had a development approval issued after 1 January 1994 but before 1 October 2018 relating to constructing the building or altering any cladding; and
  3. it is of Type A or Type B construction (typically buildings of three storeys or higher).

The deadline for owners (or bodies corporate for strata title buildings) to register and complete Part 1 of the checklist is quickly approaching and must be done by 29 March 2019. Failing to comply with the new obligations is an offence which carries significant penalties; the penalty for failing to complete Part 1 of the checklist alone carries a maximum fine of 20 penalty units – representing a fine of $2,611.

The cladding checklist process has three parts.  However, where no combustible external cladding has been used, building owners can exit the checklist process after Part 1.

It is possible this legislation will extend beyond buildings of three storeys or more based on recent developments in New South Wales. New South Wales authorities have recently announced that nine other products have been classed as non-compliant, and some or all of those products have been most commonly used in one and two-storey buildings, including residential homes.

At this stage Queensland has not classified these additional products as requiring registration or action, but it would appear that this issue will not be resolved easily. We will let you know if Queensland expands the range of non-compliant products.

To register and complete Part 1 of the checklist, please visit https://www.saferbuildings.qld.gov.au/.

If you require any advice or assistance to ensure your building avoids a fine, please contact me.

This article was written by Sharon O'Toole, Special Counsel and Frances Kelly, Solicitor.

"The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication."