The engineer who led the investigation into building failures at the Mascot and Opal Towers is set to spearhead efforts to remove dodgy cladding in New South Wales.

In his latest announcement, Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said Professor Mark Hoffman would chair an eight member Cladding Product Safety Panel who will work with NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler and building owners, councils and other regulators to identify, test and provide expert advice on the safest way to replace high-risk combustible cladding.

“The Panel will provide expert advice on how to undertake rectification work where unsafe cladding has been identified,” Anderson said.

“It will also, for the first time, provide consistent and clear advice on what products can safely be used when replacing combustible cladding.

“We know it can be confusing for owners and insurers who are sourcing products to replacing unsafe cladding. The panel will provide details of which products and installation systems can be used safely and comply with the Building Code of Australia, relevant Australian Standards and insurance requirements.”

Currently serving as the Deputy Vice President Academic and Vice President of the University of Newcastle, Hoffman also holds positions as the a Director of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and the convenor of the Engineering Panel for the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong.

He also led the investigation into building failures at the Mascot and Opal Towers.

Professor Mark Hoffman

NSW Building Commissioner, David Chandler OAM, said the panel will be available to advise councils and industry when they are scoping rectification work on the suitability of building products being proposed to replace unsafe cladding.

“The Panel will help building owners and occupants to be more confident that remediation and certification work will be compliant and safe,” Chandler said.

“We also need to ensure that work will be accepted by insurers without conditionality. The Panel will work closely with the insurance industry to make sure this occurs.”

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