MCG cladding being 'further assessed'

Marnie Banger
Flammable cladding is being removed from the northern stand of the MCG before cricket season

Victoria's planning minister insists the Melbourne Cricket Ground is safe for people to visit, despite flammable cladding at the iconic sporting venue being "further assessed".

Deputy government leader in the upper house Jaclyn Symes told parliament on Tuesday night that there is a small amount of cladding, which isn't dangerous, on the stadium's northern stand.

The comment came during debate and questioning about the government's $600 million rectification laws for high-risk residential buildings.

The Victorian Building Authority deemed the MCG safe after inspecting it in 2017 but the Melbourne City Council is having the cladding further investigated with the authority.

Opposition planning spokesman Tim Smith said the government needs to take the cladding down.

"Surely the MCG isn't as safe as it could be if that cladding wasn't there. So when is it coming down?" he told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.

He also accused the government of being coy about exactly what risk the cladding poses.

"The government and the ground need to disclose to the public, the sport-loving public of Melbourne, how dangerous is it, when are you getting rid of it, and why haven't you told us about it in the past?"

Planning Minister Richard Wynne said such commentary was "needless scare-mongering", stressing the MCG has around-the-clock security, sprinklers and a smoking ban.

"There is no question that this iconic building is safe to occupy," he told reporters.

The minister said the government doesn't typically reveal buildings where cladding is located for fear of spurring on arsonists.

"The government's position on this is based absolutely on the expert advice of the emergency services, that we should not reveal buildings that are clad because they become arson risks," he said.

The Melbourne Cricket Club in a statement said it has engaged an independent cladding specialist who is completing a survey on the cladding system in the northern stand and is waiting on the final survey results.

The Women's T20 World Cup was launched at the MCG on Wednesday, with US pop star Katy Perry named as the performer for the final of the tournament at the stadium in 2020.

Flammable cladding has also been found at Geelong's Kardinia Park stadium and Marvel Stadium in the Melbourne CBD.