Residents of one of the first buildings in Victoria to be audited for cladding claim they received threats of huge fines and eviction by the regulator if they didn't remove it.
Pensioners Jennifer and Kevin Opie bought an apartment at 247 Williams Road in South Yarra seven years ago, which was all signed off by the proper authorities. "We trusted building regulations at that point but now we don't," Mr Opie told Today.
Their apartment block was audited by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) just over a year ago and found to have the same combustible cladding found in the Grenfell Tower inferno and the Neo200 fire on Spencer Street earlier this year. The VBA then hit the couple, aged 78 and 84, with a massive bill to remove it.
"We opened up our computer and saw that we owed $92,000... we were absolutely panic-stricken, we were devastated, we couldn't believe it," Mrs Opie said.
But there was more bad news from the VBA to follow. They were told if they didn't come up with the cash in three months to remove the cladding, they would be fined over $20,000 or evicted.