Prahran residents fear ﬁre risk over
07 July 2017
The atmosphere in the lift every morning changed after the signs went
up. Neighbours would look at each other sideways, worried.
A notice posted in communal areas of the Trilogi apartment building in
Prahran warned residents against lighting barbecues or using lights and
powerpoints on their balconies over fears the building's distinct
flame-coloured cladding could catch fire.
The most recent warning notices appeared in the wake of the Grenfell
tower blaze in London, which claimed 80 lives and may have been fuelled
by similar flammable cladding.
But resident Anne (not her real name) – one of 807 people living in the
building – said the body corporate had been aware of the danger since
Trilogi apartment building in Prahran. Photo: Justin McManus
"unusual fire risk"
Anne said that is when the first notice went up, indicating all 12
storeys of the luxury apartment block on High Street were fitted with
cladding described as "non-compliant" and posing an "unusual fire risk".
Anne is furious with the situation and the lack of action, given how
long ago the first warning notices went up.
"It is marketed as top level luxury apartment. For them to cut corners
on something as important as this and tell us that we shouldn't use
certain power points in our own apartment is ridiculous," she said.
"I can't believe they haven't fixed it. Why is this taking so long when
our safety is at risk?"
The original notice to residents in January 2016. Photo: Supplied
burger outlet Huxtaburger and two other restaurants
To add to the potential risk, the Trilogi building is also home to
burger outlet Huxtaburger and two other restaurants.
"I don't think it's safe to have commercial businesses operating with
gas stoves directly underneath, especially when they are right next to
the flammable orange cladding," Anne said.
Notice to residents of the Trilogi building. Photo: Supplied
For those living in this building, the reality of a fire is front of
"They have obviously only put up this recent notice because of what has
happened in London. When I saw those images and realise that the
building only took 15 minutes to go up in flames, I thought our
building would go up in half that time," she said.
"Every time we all get in the lift and read those notices we just look
at each other, we are worried."
Greens member for Prahran Sam Hibbins said the state government had
been slow on the issue.
"The Greens wrote to the Environment and Planning Committee asking for
an inquiry into the issue and that was in January 2017. The chair
didn't even bother responding," he said.
Stonnington City Council, which is responsible for issuing emergency
orders, told Fairfax Media they were not aware of the problem.
"If council were to receive any reports of non-compliance, it will
investigate and take appropriate action," City of Stonnington chief
executive Warren Roberts said.
the buildings are new and have been
"It is noted, however, that the buildings are new and have been
approved and granted occupancy permits by a private building surveyor.
It is the role and responsibility of the private building surveyor at
the time of construction to verify that all the work complies and is
The developer of the Trilogi building, Probuild, is also responsible
for the Travelodge in Docklands, which Fairfax Media has revealed has
the same cladding as the Grenfell tower.
In a statement, Probuild said: "The safety of all our work is at the
forefront of everything we do and all our buildings comply with
Australian building standards. It is acknowledged that this is an
industry-wide issue and we are working closely with the owners
corporation and independent advisors to work through the situation."
Fairfax Media has contacted the body corporate, The Knight and
Huxtaburger, for comment.
chapter previous next