Media statement - Response to Channel 9’s Today Show
The following statement can be attributed to the Victorian Building Authority’s State Building Surveyor Andrew Cialini
There is nothing more important than keeping Victorians safe.
These issues are complex and challenging for owners and occupiers of affected buildings and I want to thank them for working with us.
Victorian Building Authority (VBA) inspectors identified fire safety issues at a South Yarra property and issued a building notice to have these matters rectified.
A key issue that has not been resolved is the use of timber framing on the four-storey building, which presents a potential safety risk to residents in the event of a fire.
The VBA has taken action against the building surveyor involved for a range of breaches, including issuing occupancy permits when the building was non-compliant in several respects.
We have inspected more than 3200 buildings as part of the Statewide Cladding Audit to address non-compliant combustible cladding.
Each building is unique and the number of defects/issues is unknown prior to inspecting and auditing. We apply the same rigor to all buildings we inspect.
The existing issues identified by the VBA at 247 Williams Rd, South Yarra, pose a potential safety risk to residents.
According to the National Construction Code, there are specific construction requirements for timber framed buildings that are more than three storeys high.
When the VBA became aware that the property’s building surveyor, Jim Tsaganas, issued an occupancy permit for a non-compliant building in breach of the Building Act 1993 we took action.
Mr Tsaganas was penalised $14,000 and suspended for nine months for this breach, as well as similar action at another property.
Mr Tsaganas has exercised his right to appeal to VCAT and a compulsory conference has been scheduled for 12 December 2022. The VBA's discipline decision is stayed until that proceeding has run its course.
The Building Appeals Board (BAB) is an independent panel consisting of industry experts. The BAB is independent of the VBA.