Australia apartment owners to join legal action over flammable cladding


Australia apartment owners to join legal action over flammable cladding

Paul Bartizan

21 May 2018

Australian law firm Adley Burstyner and Roscon Property Services last month announced a class action law suit against major construction companies. The case is on behalf of approximately 250,000 owners and residents from about 1,400 apartments clad with flammable polyethylene core aluminium composite panels in the state of Victoria.

The $4.2 billion case, the law firm says, is the first stage in a national campaign to compensate owners for replacing the dangerous cladding and installing sprinkler systems, plus declines in their property values. The law suit is expected to target LU Simon Builders, Hickory Building, Hamilton Marino and Probuild. Slater and Gordon, another legal firm, later said it is considering a similar action.

The announcement came six months after 29 people were killed in a flammable-cladding fuelled fire in South Korea, almost one year after the Grenfell Tower disaster in London killed an estimated 71 people, and more than three years since a cladding blaze at the multi-storey Lacrosse apartment tower in Melbourne, the Victorian state capital, in November 2014.

These fires are universally a direct result of government deregulation of building industry standards, cost cutting and privatisation of safety inspection, in line with demands from property developers and the construction industry.

While no one was killed in the Melbourne blaze, it spread across 13 floors on the outside of the building within 10 minutes. Apartment owners are currently fighting LU Simon in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal over who should pay the costs of replacing the cladding. The case is due to start in September. According to building specialists, the…

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