Michelle Lensink

Building Safety

I seek leave to make an explanation before directing a question to the Minister for Consumer Affairs on the subject of structural building safety.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Since the April 2002 collapse of the Riverside Golf Club building, which caused the death of two people, there has been concern for buildings built between 1970 and 1997 where the nail pads of prefabricated roof trusses have been shown to have the potential to structurally fail. The opposition has been made aware that OCBA has been contacted by relevant industry associations since the collapse of the building, and they have raised concerns about the safety of people who may be inside those buildings if they were to collapse. The suggestion has been made that OCBA should implement a program whereby potential buyers of building structures with such a prefab truss are provided with this information at point of sale. My questions are:

1. Has any progress been made on these requests and, if so, will the minister detail them?

2. Is the minister concerned with safety risks posed by these structural types and what does she intend to do about it?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Public Sector Management, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister for Gambling) (15:17): I thank the honourable member for her most important questions. Indeed, in 2006, the Minister for Urban Development and Planning established, I am advised, a ministerial task force to respond to the Coroner's report to look at ways of preventing future roof collapses like the one we recall at the Riverside Golf Club that collapsed.

The final report of that ministerial task force on roof trusses, which sets out a range of changes to the design and manufacture of roof trusses in South Australia, is available on the Department of Planning and Local Government website. I am advised that the Department of Planning and Local Government has taken several steps to provide information about roof trusses to the industry and consumers, and the department has been doing this for some time.

It includes a building advisory notice, which was issued to the building industry, about faulty trusses. I am advised that that was in December 2004. I have also been advised that that has since been re-issued. It also includes explanatory information regarding an online check which was developed and which is available, I am advised, on the Planning SA website.

There is also an online check tool, which enables building owners to easily determine what action, if any, they should take regarding the roof of their building. The prefabricated roof truss check can be found on the planning.sa.gov website. I am advised that OCBA is now working with DPLG on a proposal for developing information booklets, which will be sent to builders, plumbers and electricians. So, members can see that quite a deal of information has been out to the industry for some time.

I understand that these modifications have been used right throughout the nation in various other states and jurisdictions. The advice I have received is that very few other states have gone to the lengths that South Australia has to inform and advise people of these matters. I hope that does reassure the honourable member.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (15:20): Can the minister advise whether, firstly, there has been an audit done of where all of these structures may exist and, secondly, whether there is any point of sale information that has been put in place and, if not, why not?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Public Sector Management, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister for Gambling) (15:20): My general understanding is that, and I will double-check this to make sure that it is correct, an audit would not have been done. The use of these roof trusses was quite commonplace over a period of time right throughout Australia. They have ceased to be used now in the industry for quite a considerable period of time and, because they are not currently sold or used any longer, point of sale information is not relevant or appropriate.

questions archive

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.