The union warning to Building Ministers at Melbourne forum today:
“As you are aware, 90 per cent of employers in the building trade have reported non-conforming products in their supply chains and this problem is only going to get worse if the federal government’s proposed free-trade agreement with China is entered into without regulatory safeguards being put in place.” (Michael O’Connor, CFMEU national secretary – The Australian, 31 July)
A cigarette left burning on a balcony table last November caused cheap imported Chinese cladding on Melbourne’s Lacrosse building to catch fire and in fifteen minutes thirteen floors were engulfed in flames.
The lives of people living in apartments right around Australia are at risk from high-rise fires if the issue of unsafe cheap imported building products is not resolved.
Michael O’Connor of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union is concerned that government regulators are not taking the issue seriously and that today’s forum will just be a ‘paper-shuffling’ exercise.
Fire and construction industry experts are making urgent calls to establish a regime of independent testing of all imported building products and they want a register of certified products that meet Australia’s strict fire and safety standards.
Plenty of warnings – will pollies please deal with this deathtrap issue?