The Insurance Council of Australia
has said that the discovery of asbestos at two worksites highlights the risks posed by non-conforming building products.
The hazardous substance was found in metal skirting at the site of the Queensland Government
’s Executive Building and within roof panels at Perth’s new Children’s hospital and coincides with the release of a report by the Building Products Innovation Council aimed at curbing the increasing use of non-conforming building products in Australia.
Rob Whelan, ICA CEO, said that the find highlights “a serious problem that must be tackled.”
“The use of non-conforming or non-compliant building products, either inadvertently or deliberately to lower costs, is a serious problem that must be tackled,” Whelan said.
“Often the use of sub-standard building products only becomes apparent when something goes wrong, posing a risk to construction workers and the ultimate occupants of the building.
“Installing products that don’t meet the required standards for their intended use may save costs for builders and developers, but detecting and removing them down the track can be extremely costly for owners, and potentially taxpayers.”
Asbestos was found in imported products and Whelan said that the increasing use of different. Overseas suppliers could increase risk.
“The increasing use of imported building materials, often ordered online from unfamiliar and untested suppliers and manufacturers, has increased the potential for non-conforming and counterfeit products to enter Australia,” Whelan continued.
“The ICA broadly supports the BPIC’s goal to better protect consumers and compliant businesses from poor-quality building materials. Just as the building and construction industry has evolved, so must the regulatory regime that oversees it.”
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