Public safety should be one of the government’s main concerns.
When London’s Grenfell Tower caught fire in 2017, Australia responded by having its own audit and report of whether apartments within the nation contained flammable cladding.
But…we haven’t heard much about it since.
So it’s only fair that firefighters are starting to question the federal government.
And while it is a firefighter’s job to protect citizens, a reduction in fire hazards is the best way to not only protect the public, but firefighters themselves.
Craig Laundy, the former assistant industry minister, was the person leading the investigation into the material used in the Grenfell Tower. Laundy has since been promoted in parliament, and no replacement has been appointed in his place.
The national secretary of United Firefights Union, Peter Marshall, also doesn’t have a clue who’s leading the current investigation of the materials.
And with no replacement to take over the project, Marshall is worried that this will lead to delays.
Public safety in the building industry is essential
A delay in the audit and its findings, according to Marshall, could result ‘in a significant challenge to the fire service to minimise damage to the property, which is practically impossible with this cladding, but most importantly to try and prevent loss of life.’
With no set industry minister, Laundy has taken it upon himself to continue to look into cladding. Although, according to Labor’s industry spokesman Kim Carr, this is not an adequate solution. Laundy will not be able to cover his former position well enough, as he is now the minister for small business.
And as Carr so bluntly stated:
‘We don’t have an industry minister now and we don’t have a science minister now and it’s clear that we don’t have a minister that’s responsible for public safety in the building industry…
‘It sends the message that this Government doesn’t care about the issue.
‘It wants to continue the policy of turning a blind eye. Public safety is not a priority.’
And while the government has stated that audits are taking place on a state and territory level, they won’t meet again until April to discuss a report regarding compliance issues.
It’s been roughly six months since the Grenfell Tower went up in flames. But it seems that our government won’t take the risk of flammable cladding seriously until a devastating event like Grenfell occurs here.