NSW reluctant to establish cladding fund

Chris Duggan says NSW strata residents want a funding package for owners facing building issues.
Chris Duggan says NSW strata residents want a funding package for owners facing building issues.

The NSW government is considering what funding is needed to support apartment owners whose properties are at risk due to flammable cladding.

A funding relief package was discussed on Wednesday at a meeting between the peak body representing strata managers and Better Regulation Minister Kevin Anderson.

Strata Community Association NSW president Chris Duggan described the talks as "favourable" but said the government didn't give a firm commitment to establish a fund.

Instead, the coalition is examining how much money is needed to rectify the affected buildings, Mr Duggan told AAP.

"The government, whilst not giving an iron-clad commitment around any support relief packages, is still open to quantifying what that looks like and making sure where necessary and where appropriate we don't leave owners in the lurch."

The NSW government has previously dismissed Mr Duggan's call for a $1 billion funding package which he insists is appropriate given the number of buildings at risk.

Some 629 buildings in NSW have been identified as having cladding that could pose a risk.

Mr Duggan is urging the government to follow Victoria's lead where the Labor government has announced a $600 million cladding remediation plan.

Mr Anderson said the government was working with relevant stakeholders "to understand the full extent of these issues".

"Once we confirm which buildings actually require remediation, we will be in a position to determine appropriate next steps," he told AAP in a statement.

The emotional toll cracking and other building defects have on owners were also discussed on Wednesday.

Mr Duggan said the NSW government was committed to improving the quality of construction across the state.

"Mr Anderson has given us a commitment that the quality of construction in NSW will improve while he's at the helm and he is moving very quickly to ensure that happens," he said.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday told parliament building issues in NSW were "serious" and the government was dealing with the problems.

Mr Anderson insisted the government would announce the appointment of a building commissioner "imminently" as part of its commitment to ensuring the construction industry focuses on quality, accountability and transparency.

"We know those standards need to be lifted and that's what we are on track to do," he said in question time.

The meeting comes after owners of units in Sydney's beleaguered Opal Tower lodged a class-action lawsuit against the Sydney Olympic Park Authority which owns the land on which the complex was built.

The newly-built block in Sydney Olympic Park was evacuated on Christmas Eve after cracks discovered in the building sparked fears it could collapse.

Australian Associated Press