NECA supports cladding report recommendations

Monday, 11 September, 2017

The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) has supported the recommendations outlined in the Australian Senate’s interim report on aluminium composite cladding, released as part of its inquiry into non-conforming building products.

“As the report notes, the use of non-compliant aluminium cladding is widespread and this poses significant dangers to the public, as shown by building fire disasters overseas such as the Grenfell Tower tragedy,” said NECA Chief Executive Officer Suresh Manickam.

“Despite this, there have been extensive delays in developing and implementing policies to address the use of non-compliant products in the building industry in Australia,” said Manickam.

“NECA has consistently advocated for increased government enforcement to reduce the importation and use of non-compliant building products, which in the electrical contracting sector have the potential to cause electrical fires and shocks leading to fatalities, as well as the loss of public confidence in the industry.

“We are therefore supportive of the interim report’s recommendation that the Federal Safety Commissioner should be adequately resourced to carry out audits of compliance with the National Construction Code performance requirements in relation to building materials.

“NECA also urges that the Commonwealth and state and territory governments expedite progress on mandatory third-party certification of building products and an improved product testing regime through fora such as the Building Minister’s Forum.

“We also support the interim report’s recommendation that the Commonwealth government expedites its consideration of director identification numbers to address the issue of illegal phoenix activity, which negatively impacts many subcontractors.

“Additionally, NECA seeks Commonwealth government support for the management and administration of the EESS (Electrical Equipment Safety System) database, which is designed to combat the use of non-compliant electrical products.

“Although EESS is designed to be a nationally operated scheme, it is currently only recognised in the Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia.”

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