A leading risk engineer has become the latest voice to join a chorus of experts calling for the public release of a document identifying all of the NSW buildings with potentially flammable cladding.
The list of 444 buildings across the state has been deemed a security risk by the local government although it noted that the release could hurt property owners, potentially mislead the public and breach expectations of confidentiality.
However, Alex Wardhana, senior risk engineer with HDI Global SE, said the negatives shouldn’t be convincing enough to outweigh the benefits of releasing the list.
“Absolutely, information should be made public so occupiers, property owners, and others involved or have stake in the buildings can take the appropriate measures to protect themselves or their interest – including suitable physical protection or loss prevention measures and practices currently available,” he said.
Speaking to Insurance Business, Wardhana also disputed the suggestion that the release of the list would mislead the general public – in fact, he said it would likely lead to greater awareness.
“Sharing the information with the public would also expose any misrepresentation or inappropriate process or actions by the parties involved in the design and construction of the building,” he said.
The government previously pointed to terrorism risks as a reason for not publishing the list but Wardhana also disagreed with the suggestion, saying it’s an unlikely tactic for terrorists.
“Terrorists usually want a high return on their investment – so the biggest bang or the biggest explosion – but with a building, a number of things have to happen before you get the coverage,” he told Insurance Business. “For one, the sprinkler system has to be offline, or not present at all.”