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Victorian hospitals and aged care facilities still covered in dangerous cladding

More than two years on from London’s Grenfell Tower disaster, many Victorian buildings, including hospitals and aged care facilities, are still covered in flammable cladding.

The Victorian Building Authority has examined 1800 buildings for combustible cladding, of which approximately 800 are of concern, but there are fears many risky buildings are yet to be identified.

Matt Vincent, who heads up the statewide cladding audit for the VBA, said it will take years to remove dangerous cladding.

“People will be living with cladding in Victoria for some time,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“Even under the best case scenario, we’re looking at 5 or 6 years before we’re through this.”

Mr Vincent said hospitals and aged care facilities are among the buildings which have been identified as at risk.

“There are hospitals in Victoria … There are aged care facilities with cladding,” he said.

“There are a lot of buildings across Victoria that have got a risk rating that is not where it needs to be.”

The question of who will pay for expensive cladding removal remains a point of contention.

The state government has set aside $160 million to remove flammable cladding from government buildings.

Mr Vincent said $15 million has been provided to the VBA to begin works on some of the state’s highest risk private buildings.

The Rumour File reported today that the state government looks set to launch a new body to deal with the cladding crisis, which may provide financial assistance to remove cladding.

Mr Vincent could not confirm or deny the existence of the impending state government body.

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