Audit update 1: Yuanda building products
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The Building Commission has commenced an independent audit of Yuanda-supplied building products in the WA construction industry, beginning with the Perth Children's Hospital (PCH) and products that may contain asbestos. Announced by Building Commissioner Peter Gow on 15 July 2016, the audit follows the discovery of Yuanda building products containing asbestos in the under construction PCH building.
Update on audit progress
On the Monday following the audit’s announcement, WA Building Commission officers met with Department of Treasury Strategic Projects staff at the PCH site to gain background and other information relevant to its audit.
Strategic Projects has enabled the Building Commission to access the project records management and building information systems for the project. The audit team is focussing on the PCH and is identifying areas and products of interest and gathering information to assess compliance and risk.
To date, no other building products containing asbestos have been found at the PCH site.
The Building Commission has issued a formal notice in writing of the compliance audit to the builder of the PCH, John Holland. Building Commission officers met with representatives of the company to discuss scope of audit, and the company has been cooperating with Building Commission officers on the audit.
The Building Commission has also contacted Yuanda to discuss scope of the audits being carried out on their products in the PCH and nine other buildings*. This has been checked against an initial list of WA buildings believed to contain Yuanda-supplied products obtained from the CFMEU and other sources.
Yuanda is currently testing all of its products imported into Australia. Early results have not detected any asbestos.
The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency activated its Rapid Response Protocol which enables government agencies to work cooperatively across jurisdictions when products containing asbestos are discovered.
The Australian Border Force is investigating whether Yuanda knowingly imported asbestos products into Australia and is controlling the import of Yuanda products. State agencies in Victoria and Queensland have commenced their own audit programs.
Working with the City of Perth, the Building Commission has begun investigating the use of Yuanda products in other WA Buildings.
Through the national Building Ministers’ Forum, building ministers including the WA Minister for Commerce, the Hon Michael Mischin MLC, are working cooperatively to address safety issues associated with non-conforming and non-complying building products.
In July 2015 building ministers established a Senior Officers’ Group (SOG) with representatives from all jurisdictions to report on ways to minimise the risks to consumers, businesses and the community.
At a SOG meeting in Brisbane this week, the WA Building Commission’s Director of Compliance briefed members on the WA audit of Yuanda products and obtained details of audits and action being taken in other jurisdictions. No new products containing asbestos have been found to date.
The next steps
The WA Building Commission will continue to search, receive and assess information relevant to the PCH audit. The Commission will meet with Yuanda to confirm the full list of products supplied to WA building constructions, and will continue to carry out general inspection audits of other WA buildings found to contain Yuanda building products.
The Building Commission will provide regular updates on the audit’s progress and, upon completion, will report on its findings.
*The current number of buildings being audited is the Perth Children's Hospital plus 13 buildings on 11 other sites.
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