In a move by the Victorian State Government on 5 September to ban to use of combustible cladding, the Minister for Planning as declared his intent to prohibit the following external wall cladding products from being used by any person in the course of carrying out any building work in connection with the construction of a building:
expanded polystyrene (EPS) in external wall cladding systems on buildings of Type A or Type B construction in Victoria; and
aluminium composite panels (ACP) with a core or lamina comprised of less than 93 per cent inert mineral filler (inert content) by mass in external wall cladding systems on buildings of Type A or Type B construction in Victoria.
Under Section 192B of the Building Act 1993, the Minister of Planning as the authority to prohibit any cladding product from being used by ANY person in the course of carrying out building work. This are far reaching implications and could be considered to include tradespeople, builders, product suppliers and other party that had a roll in the supply and installation.
The Government are currently seeking submissions regarding the proposed ban before 31 October 2020. After this date submissions will be review and decision made.
According the the FAQ page for the proposal, the ban extends beyond the current requirements requiring materials with the PE core content >30% to have Building Appeals Board approval in order to capture all types of potentially combustible core elements. The 93% inert mineral filler (i.e materials with >7% PE core) threshold proposed is based on evidence from technical experts.
The proposed ban will completely remove all performance based (fire engineering) pathways to consider such materials and would prohibit even those materials with current Australian Building Code Board (ABCB) Codemark certification.
A cautious approach should also be adopted by designers and surveyors as suggested wording of the ban would capture all building permit applications lodged after the introduction of the ban without any transitional concessions for projects currently under design.
More information on the proposed ban can be found at https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/building-policy/cladding-rectification-program