EWPAA calls for action on non-conforming building product legislation in light of Grenfell fire tragedy

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) was deeply saddened to hear of the Grenfell Tower fire in London recently and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this heartbreaking tragedy.

The cause of the Grenfell Tower tragedy has not yet been formally reported, but commentary strongly suggests that the type of cladding material used in recent renovations and its installation method may have contributed to the spread of the fire.

The EWPAA joins the Building Products Innovation Council (BPIC) in urging governments across Australia to implement and enforce stronger regulations to combat non-conforming building products (NCBP).

BPIC released a statement last week urging Australian governments to prioritise non-conforming building product legislation and follow the lead of the Queensland government in its recent introduction of a bill intended to control the spread of such products.

Dave Gover, CEO of the EWPAA and a member of the BPIC board, said that the issue of non-conforming building products is real and significant to the built environment.

“Non conforming building products represent a safety risk to occupants, to neighbours, a financial risk for owners, to insurers and financiers,” Dave said.

“Since the Grenfell fire tragedy, it has been reported that Australian politicians will push for investigations into cladding materials, but the NCBP issue is a much broader problem than just a particular brand of cladding or type of material,” Dave said.

“Building products manufacturers have been campaigning for government awareness of NCBP issues in Australia for several years and it is time for more effective regulation, and for meaningful enforcement,” Dave said.

The EWPAA is encouraged that the Queensland government is taking steps to combat the NCBP issue through the introduction of a new bill.

“Debate on this Bill needs to be a bi-partisan effort to pass a robust and meaningful Act which will inspire other State Governments to follow Queensland’s lead,” Dave said.

“In the absence of stronger legislation on the issue, we will continue to see non-conforming building products entering the country, with the potential to cause tragedies similar to the Grenfell fire here in Australia,” Dave said.

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) is a member association for manufacturers of engineered and solid timber products across Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. The EWPAA coordinates a market development program which includes product testing, product certification, standards and codes development, technical promotion, research and development, market maintenance; as well as education and training.

Media Contact:

Clair Hammond
Communications Officer
Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia Ltd (EWPAA)
Ph: +61 7 3250 3700
Email: clair.hammond@ewp.asn.au