It was the fire that occurred due to confusing building regulations, a regulatory failure and governments asleep at the wheel.
Which makes it even harder for owners of apartments in Melbourne’s Lacrosse building to pay the $20 million cost of replacing illegal cladding encasing their building – roughly $40,000 per apartment.
In November, 2014, the Alucobest cladding on the Docklands building caught fire after a cigarette butt accidentally ignited the blaze on a sixth floor balcony.
Melbourne City Council originally signed off on the use of the cladding, but now – in a backflip – the mega-council is ordering residents to pay to have the building rectified and brought up to regulatory safety requirements.
Some residents of the building had already seen their property values drop by at least $100,000 before the fire.
Shereen Bungah, who paid $550,000 for her apartment, says the situation is making her “absolutely depressed”.
“I hate coming back to it every day. I hate looking at it,” she told A Current Affair.
She claims the property value has dropped even further since the fire.
L U Simon Builders, the construction company behind the Lacrosse building, claim everybody is working together in an attempt to resolve the issue.
“But it is inappropriate to comment further whilst the processes are underway and particularly until the separate investigations have concluded,” A spokesperson for L U Simon Builders told A Current Affair.
Melbourne City Council have called a meeting with apartment owners to discuss the order tonight.
At the meeting, they will be told they have 30 days to appeal the order.