Builder claims he was sacked for pointing out fire safety defect

But the developer dismissed Mr Clothier’s claim as a vexatious complaint by a disgruntled worker, which Mr Clothier denies.

“I’m not going to let this go,” Mr Clothier said.

The developer said it had employed independent structural engineers to certify the work and that there was “nothing wrong with the plastering work”.

A spokesman for the Queensland Building and Construction Commission said it had inspected the area complained about along with an independent engineer and found defects that “have since been rectified by the builder as a result of the QBCC’s involvement”.

As state and federal building ministers prepare to meet on Thursday to discuss how to ensure buildings meet safety standards, including no flammable cladding – after the Victorian government announced a $600 million rectification scheme – the union has weighed in.

CFMMEU national construction secretary Dave Noonan said it was sheer luck that no one had died in any of the Australian apartment tower blazes involving flammable cladding, which was implicated in the devastating Grenfell tower fire in the United Kingdom that killed 72 people.

“We see important structural work on buildings which should be physically inspected by an engineer that’s being signed off based on someone taking a photo on an iphone and emailing or texting it,” he said.

“That just shouldn’t be happening, and it does.”

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union targeted the yet-to-be-finished Southport tower on Tuesday, when union members stood holding placards alleging that the building was unsafe.

Mr Noonan said the flammable cladding crisis could have been avoided if governments listened to the union, which has been advocating for a national response to the problem for four years.

The developer said the union had taken up Mr Clothier’s case in a cynical attempt to increase its membership, noting the Southport construction site was non-union.

Master Builders Australia chief executive Denita Wawn accused the CFMMEU of “grandstanding” on the flammable cladding issue, saying the union had “no standing or liability under the national construction code”.

“It just shows the severity of the union’s relevance deprivation syndrome,” Ms Wawn said.

Minister for Industry Karen Andrews said Thursday’s building minsters’ forum was a chance for all jurisdictions to “demonstrate once and for all that they are committed to working together to ensure a nationally consistent building sector”.

The federal government is asking the states and territories to participate in a taskforce, funded by the Commonwealth, to implement recommendations of a landmark report that last year outlined a nationally consistent regulatory approach.

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