Senate to investigate building rules

June 19, 2017

Labor senator Chris Ketter has announced an inquiry into building regulation.

Australian building regulations will be examined by a Senate committee in the wake of the deadly London residential tower fire.

At least 58 people died in the high-rise blaze that may have been fuelled by the same flammable cladding found to be responsible for the Lacrosse apartment tower fire in Melbourne three years ago.

"We see it as being a timely reminder that we as parliamentarians should be doing everything we possibly can to ensure that that never happens," Labor senator Chris Ketter said on Monday.

Senator Ketter, who chairs the Senate economics committee, said on Monday he will direct the committee to look at national regulations.

After the Lacrosse fire, building regulations were examined in November 2015 but Senator Ketter said he was concerned about the rate of progress.

"This is an example of the Senate again seeking to shine a light on this issue to ensure that this terrible situation doesn't occur in Australia," he said.

"There's always the possibility that things could slip through the cracks here."

The committee hopes to hold public hearings within the next month, bringing in experts, the building construction board and unions to examine the issue.

Crossbench senator Nick Xenophon supported calls for further review and said there needed to be a national audit of buildings around the country.

"The London tragedy is more than just a wake-up call," he told reporters in Canberra.

"There are now no excuses for any government at a local, state or federal level not to do everything possible to ensure the safety of the occupants and visitors to those buildings."

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