A “landmark project” will see high-risk cladding removed from residential apartment buildings across New South Wales over the next three years.
Funding for the project was announced as part of the 2020–21 NSW state budget and it will be known as “Project Remediate”.
According to the Minister for Better regulation and Innovation, Kevin Anderson, Project Remediate will see the state government conduct the program to help remove combustible cladding on hundreds of the most at-risk buildings.
Commenting on the initiative, Mr Anderson said, “We’re not taking any chances when it comes to the safety of people living in buildings identified as being at high-risk form combustible cladding.”
The minister said $139 million had been allocated by the state government for the co-ordination of remediation works for affected buildings, with the priority of “removing unsafe cladding from buildings as soon as possible”.
At the heart of the funding is a government commitment to paying the interest on loans by commercial lenders to building owners and owners corporations to fast-track the removal.
According to Mr Anderson, owners have been requesting financial and technical support to help them manage the process, with this package set to “make it happen”.
The government also expects the program to support construction activity and generate “thousands” of jobs.
“Not only will this program benefit those living in buildings with unsafe cladding, it will also drive economic recovery with the creation of 3,500 jobs as we begin to recover from the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19,” Mr Anderson added.
“With many buildings now ready to commence removing combustible cladding, now is the right time to provide this support.”
The government said further details on the project will be released in December, with eligible building owners and owners corporations to be contacted and invited to participate at a later date.