OPAL TOWER CRACK CALLS FOR BROAD APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT INQUIRY

 

WITH the developer lobby, it appears having enjoyed “a special relationship” with the NSW Liberal Party and the NSW Department of Planning, and being a big party donor, and having had many Planning Law changes implemented in NSW for “Growing Sydney” including …

. Private Certification

Exempt and Complying Development

. Rezoning our Suburbs for Higher Density

Building Designers Association of Australia president Chris Knierim said over the past three years he had seen construction standards decrease to “below what I would consider a pass”.

-the Opal Tower is not an isolated incident

-with the construction boom corners are being cut

-builders are dropping their margins to make money

URBAN TASKFORCE CEO CHRIS JOHNSON SUGGESTED THE NSW GOVERNMENT LOOK AT A ‘CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE’ FOR PLANNING DECISIONS

WILL that be like the Ethics Unit housed within the Planning Department … so transparent?

LET’s update Mr Johnson because since midway through 2017 Councils lost development approval powers to independent panels!

 

 

Opal Tower Sydney crack sparks calls for broad apartment development inquiry

 

SATURDAY 29 DECEMBER 2018

 

The crack in Sydney’s Opal Tower — and subsequent evacuation — has sparked calls for an independent inquiry into the approval process across the NSW industry, with experts saying “corners are being cut”.

Key points:

  • Most residents have now evacuated Opal Tower for engineers to investigate the source of the crack
  • Experts are saying the incident is ‘not isolated‘, as more-and-more apartment developments hit Sydney
  • NSW Labor has called on the NSW Government to ‘repair public confidence’ in high-rise apartments through a broader inquiry

 

As most residents of Opal Tower were last night escorted from their homes to enable a “comprehensive investigation” into the crack in a concrete panel that forced them out, calls for more stringent checks and balances into the apartment development industry are growing louder.

NSW Labor today called for the investigation into Opal Tower — currently being carried out by two experienced independent engineers to include the planning approvals process.

It came as Alex Greenwich, the independent Member for Sydney, called for a special commission of inquiry into apartment building defects.

“The State Government needs to understand that there are potential ramifications across the entire sector for all new high-rise development,” Labor shadow minister for planning Tania Mihailuk said on Saturday.

“Public confidence needs to be repaired promptly.

“There are so many new high-rise developments that have been approved and residents need peace of mind.”

Current approvals suggest the number of apartments at Sydney Olympic Park — the site where Opal Tower sits — will increase from 6000 to 10,700, with the number of residents in the area jumping from 14,000 to 23,500.

A spokesman for NSW Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts said they would address the issue later today.

Sitting on “state significant” land, Opal Tower was given the green light by former NSW planning minister Rob Stokes.

Concerns have been raised by independent bodies over the ability for developers to employ private certifiers, meaning developers could potentially get their own certifiers to give the green light to multi-million dollar developments.

‘Tick and flick’ mentality

Building Designers Association of Australia president Chris Knierim said over the past three years he had seen construction standards decrease to “below what I would consider a pass”.

“This (the Opal Tower crack) is not an isolated incident,” he said.

“The concern is that during the construction boom we can’t cope with the level of construction that is going on.

“Corners are being cut.

“And what we’re seeing is it’s rushed because of the dollar, people need to make money and we have a tick and flick mentality. Builders are dropping their margins just to make money … it’s shocking.”

Urban Taskforce chief executive Chris Johnson said the “ripple effect” of the Opal Tower incident would be “enormous”.

“It’s unheard of,” he said.

“I’ve never seen this before.

“But there are multiple levels here [at Opal Tower] and where the error has occurred in the chain of command [between the developer, builder, prefabricator and engineers] will have to be assessed through the forensic investigation.”

 

*Mr Johnson said the NSW Government should look at a “centre of excellence” for planning decisions currently handed to councils (?) that are out of their depth.

“We maybe need to bring more expertise — the best quality minds — into this process to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

“For bigger scale projects, above $20 million or so, should go to a centre of excellence shared by the councils [where these bigger scale projects are occurring].”

Residents staying put

Engineers are today scouring through the Opal Tower building to discover the source of the crack, with reports suggesting 16 prefabricated concrete panels used in the garden slots are being looked at.

Opal Tower builder, Icon, said it expected the investigation to take as long as 10 days.

However it could not guarantee whether a longer time frame would be required. Today is first official day of its investigation.

The ABC understands a small number of residents in the Opal Tower building are still inside because of mobility issues.

SOURCE:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-29/opal-tower-crack-sparks-calls-for-broad-inquiry/10673134

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AN EVENING WITH LUCY TURNBULL, THE GREATER SYDNEY COMMISSION & DEVELOPER MATES … ‘ASSURANCE REVIEW’ ON PLANNING IN THE RYDE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

 

 

 

 

AN EVENING WITH LUCY TURNBULL, THE GREATER SYDNEY COMMISSION & DEVELOPER MATES … ‘ASSURANCE REVIEW’ ON PLANNING IN THE RYDE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

 

IS this a joke?

 

WHY have an ‘Economic Commissioner’ on this Panel when the outcomes are both social and environmental degradation?

 

ISN’T this really about the ‘productivity’ (aka profit) that flows to developers for building dog-box flats?

 

What are the ‘Terms of Reference?’

CAAN  has learnt “they” had a little independent review into SUTHERLAND’s LEP 2015 as the community were all screaming OVERDEVELOPMENT!

 

It had ‘Terms of Reference’ also.

 

A complete and utter joke because if arguments against the OVERDEVELOPMENT don’t fit in with their ‘Terms of Reference’ …

 

HOW likely is it that RYDE will be treated any differently?  Cough … cough …

 

VIEW THE PHOTOS HEREIN WHICH ILLUSTRATE THE BAD OUTCOMES FROM OVERDEVELOPMENT IN THE RYDE LGA 

 

“The Assurance Review will be led by a Panel of Commissioners chaired by the Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull AO and including the Deputy Chief Commissioner and Economic Commissioner Geoff Roberts.

 

https://www.greater.sydney/assurance-review

 

Commission to conduct Assurance Review on planning in the Ryde Local Government Area

 

*The Commission is inviting community members, groups and stakeholders to register expressions of interest to speak with the Assurance Panel at Panel Listening Sessions on the evenings of Tuesday 5 and Thursday 7 February 2019.

 

People also have the option of lodging a short summary of their views online.

 

While the Assurance Panel will try to hear from as many people as possible, it may not be possible for everyone who wishes to speak to have the opportunity to do so.

 

We may therefore use the information provided by you in your expression of interest to prioritise speakers whose concerns most closely relate to the Assurance Review Terms of Reference or select a speaker to represent common issues or themes.

 

If the Panel is unable to hear from everyone, they will give consideration to all written submissions provided in the Expression of Interest.

 

Expressions of Interest close on Tuesday 29 January 2019.

 

Applicants will be informed of the status of their request to speak with the Panel on 31 January 2019.

 

Please note, spaces are limited. We will endeavour to accommodate as many interested parties as possible.

 

VISIT:

https://bit.ly/2GlVkDc

for more information on the Review process and how to get involved.”

WHAT will the NSW ALP do about OVERDEVELOPMENT?

Will it direct Urban Taskforce and the Property Council of Australia to build quality affordable homes exclusively for Australian First Home Buyers as per the CAAN PLAN?
VIEW:  FOR THE ALP SUGGESTION BOX … HOUSING FOR AUSTRALIAN FIRST HOME BUYERS …

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/for-the-alp-suggestion-box-housing-for-australian-first-home-buyers/?fbclid=IwAR2pw7NkfzyDod2PPefn9dNIw9i0_d_KyXASg9SRfcGn0hVfA4LrS1glPRY

 

And Build affordable Rental accommodation that will allow Australian tenants to save for their own home!  Rather than they become life-long tenants?

And restore Public Housing to give more than 50,000 NSW Homeless People home security?

 

Image may contain: tree, outdoor and nature

CAAN Photo:  Ivanhoe Estate, an Architect designed Public Housing Estate, a mere 26 years old demolished to make way for private redevelopment; Stage 1 demolition!

 

BECAUSE where we live continues to be destroyed to fill the coffers of the developer lobby building awful developments for their foreign buyer clients keen to gain Permanent Residency!

Image may contain: skyscraper, sky and outdoor

CAAN Photo:  Herring Road, Macquarie Park Precinct; corner Herring Road and Epping Road with several apartments in depth. The opposite side of Herring Road is undergoing demolition for more high-rise including the Public Housing Ivanhoe Estate.

 

Image may contain: sky, skyscraper and outdoor

CAAN Photo:  Prime by Chinese developer JQZ, A “PRECINCT” within itself; Waterloo Road Macquarie Park. This residential development replaced a number of commercial buildings that provided jobs within the Macquarie Business Park!

 

Image may contain: sky, tree and outdoor

CAAN Photo:  Lachlan’s Line by Chinese Real Estate Group Greenland  with Country Garden in the background.  LL Housing 2700 dwellings within this gated estate. As many remark it is like developments seen in China … why the need for this here in Australia unless of course it is about developers building for the foreign market …

This was formerly Public Land which could have been utilised for a bus interchange, parking or recreational/cultural use for the Ryde LGA community!

 

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

CAAN Photo:  Overdevelopment continues at Meadowbank/Shepherd’s Bay.  Are these Townhomes atop apartments? Legoland? View our photo album for a view of how overdevelopment continues at Meadowbank and/or view for yourself from the Ryde Bridge!

 

Image may contain: sky, skyscraper and outdoor

CAAN Photo:  Length of a road in Meadowbank with apartment development underway!

 

With massive Precincts across the river at Rhodes, Wentworth Point, and Sydney Olympic Park, is it any wonder that Ryde Road/Lane Cove Road are in gridlock for much of the day?

The NSW LNP proposes the Medium-Density Housing Code of the MANOR HOUSE (a block of 3 or 4 flats) numbering 40,000 for the Ryde LGA!

Image may contain: sky, house, cloud, plant, tree and outdoor

CAAN Photo:  A duplex built forward of the setback robbing its neighbour of their amenity including outlook, views, privacy and market value!  Picture a Manor House (a block of 3 or 4 flats) development on this lot and the impact that would have on neighbours!

 

Image may contain: house and outdoor

CAAN Photo:  A duplex development almost the size of a Manor House! Built in a garden estate with homes among the “gum trees”; another example of developer greed robbing the neighbours of their amenity; built forward of the setback and close to the rear fence forcing the properties at the rear to restort to blocking their windows for privacy!  AWFUL!  Fugliness …

 

HOW CAN THE ALP BUILD ENOUGH SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS TO ACCOMMODATE THE HIGH IMMIGRATION?

-with Billions of People across Asia keen to gain Permanent Residency in Australia

WHAT WILL THE ALP DO TO STOP VISA MANIPULATION THAT HAS CREATED THIS PREDICAMENT FOR AUSTRALIA?

 

 

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PREMIER BEREJIKLIAN ORDERS URGENT REVIEW INTO OVERDEVELOPMENT IN RYDE … DECEMBER 2018

 

DECEMBER 4, 2018

IT would seem that a REVIEW OF PLANNING across the RYDE LGA is long overdue!

IT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED BACK IN 2012!

The OVERDEVELOPMENT began with the arrival of Chinese developer, COUNTRY GARDEN and the NORTH RYDE STATION PRECINCT and a Consultation Committee of local residents sworn to secrecy! 

THAT WAS THE COMMUNITY CONSULTATION!

VIEW CAAN photo albums for pictorial tours of OVERDEVELOPMENT, and the grief it has rendered many Constituents as they continue to be ignored …

This article …

FINALLY with strong opposition from a new Mayor Jerome Laxale and his “Save Our Streets” Campaign, and a very concerned Ryde Liberal MP, Victor Dominello, has the Berejiklian Government been forced to respond with this planning review due to an Election in March?

NOTE … the report back will not be until May 2019!

PERHAPS the reports from Infrastructure Australia and others have brought home a realisation that the infrastructure projects cannot compete with the high population growth through immigration?

IT is the takeover of the Ryde LGA Business and IT Parks for Precinct residential development that has eroded their ranking and the consequent loss of businesses and jobs for locals!

Adding to traffic congestion, the loss of:

-amenity

-urban bushlands

-public land for open space and/or facilities

-capacity for commercial interests

-heritage

WILL the NSW Government ensure that no further public lands are sold off for Housing development?

BACKGROUND … and that which this Daily Telegraph article fails to include:

RYDE MAYOR Jerome Laxale hit back at Victor Dominello accusing him of backing the Meriton plans over the past year.

 

DESPITE community-wide objections to the Herring Road High-Rise Precinct, Macquarie Park, and the Meriton proposal is again in the hands of the NSW Government through the Greater Sydney Commission, and its ties to the developer lobby!

THE Mayor previously slammed the Berejiklian Government for “turning Ryde into a developers’ Disneyland” through rezoning.

This article further raises concern for the Ryde Community in that Mrs Turnbull has said the investigation would focus on the Macquarie Park Business Park

HOW will that suffice with the high-rise Precincts not only of Macquarie Park but of Meadowbank, Melrose Park, Top Ryde, North Ryde Station Precinct, and other High-rise estates in Gladesville, West Ryde everywhere in between?

AND the imminent threat of the Medium-Density Housing Code strongly opposed by the Ryde Mayor of the Manor House, terraces, townhouses, triplex, duplex and Villa Homes to be built nextdoor to low-rise cottages?  For a foreign market!

40,000 Manor House/blocks of flats proposed for the Ryde Electorate!

Premier Gladys Berejiklian orders urgent review into development in Ryde

 

Gladys Berejiklian has ordered an urgent review into the overdevelopment of Ryde, where more than 13,000 extra people have been jammed in recent years.

 

The under-pressure Premier has caved into the demands of her Finance Minister Victor Dominello, who has been fighting development in the area for months.

Ms Berejiklian has asked the Greater Sydney Commission, led by Lucy Turnbull, to conduct the review.

State MP for Ryde and Minister for Finance Victor Dominello at the site of the proposed 63 storey Meriton development on Talavera Rd at Macquarie Park. Picture: John Appleyard

 

It comes after The Daily Telegraph reported earlier this year that crime rates in Ryde — dubbed a “developers’ Disneyland” — have soared in the past two years.

 

The commission told the Premier last week that it has already begun a preliminary assessment of the planning situation in Ryde and the key issues affecting the area.

 

Mr Dominello, who is the state MP for Ryde, has already helped introduce a two-year freeze on new rezoning applications for residential housing in the area, making Ryde the only place in Sydney where this suspension is in force.

MORE NEWS

Crime rates have soared in Ryde in the past two years as development has overtaken all other services. Picture: Darren Leigh Roberts

 

In a letter to the Premier, obtained by the Telegraph, Mrs Turnbull said the investigation would focus on the Macquarie Park business park and its broader impact on the community.

“The commission will work with the Department of Planning and Environment to understand the work it has been doing in this area over the past several years,” Mrs Turnbull said.

The commission is due to make its recommendations in May.

Greater Sydney Commissioner Lucy Turnbull. Picture: Britta Campion
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has called for an urgent review. Picture: AAP

 

Mr Dominello said Ryde residents were concerned that development is outpacing social infrastructure such as roads, schools and parks.

“The review will put the issue of development under the microscope and prioritise the interests of the community and families,” he said.

“There appears to be a disconnect between Ryde Council and the Department of Planning, hence the need for the Greater Sydney Commission to step in.”

Mr Dominello speaking at a residents protest meeting called ‘stop overdevelopment in North Ryde’ back in 2010.

 

Ryde mayor Jerome Laxale said the council is meeting tonight (DEC 4 2018) to discuss community feedback regarding a proposed 63-storey Meriton development.

“The results of that community consultation will be considered at council tomorrow and I will be moving a recommendation of refusal,” Mr Laxale, who has previously slammed the government for “turning Ryde into a developers’ Disneyland” through rezoning, said.

Ryde Mayor Jerome Laxale said council would discuss community feedback about the planned Meriton development on Monday night. Picture: Justin Lloyd

 

Mr Dominello said regardless of the council decision, “the proposal will now need be considered in the context of the Greater Sydney Commission’s review, to ensure it meets community expectations”.

 

LABOR asks AFP to investigate $350,000 job offer to Craig Kelly preselection Challenger … PART 2

Recently the Facebook of Craig Kelly appeared on CAAN’s Home Page as a ‘related page’ … we could not figure why?

NOW having caught up with ‘the doings’ in The Shire this may explain why!

 

Labor asks AFP to investigate $350,000 job offer to Craig Kelly preselection challenger

 

Labor has asked the Australian Federal Police to urgently investigate a $350,000 job offer Scott Morrison’s right-hand man Scott Briggs made to the man who was set to roll Liberal MP Craig Kelly for preselection in his seat of Hughes.

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age revealed on Thursday that Mr Briggs had offered Sutherland Shire councillor Kent Johns a $350,000 job for six months’ work as the Liberals’ federal campaign director in NSW, on the understanding he would withdraw from the contest against Mr Kelly.

Liberal MP Craig Kelly survived the preselection showdown only after intervention from the PM.
Liberal MP Craig Kelly survived the preselection showdown only after intervention from the PM.  CREDIT:DOMINIC LORRIMER

 

That campaign role would normally be part of state director Chris Stone’s position, although the party wants to bring in additional firepower because of the back-to-back NSW and federal elections.

Labor senator Don Farrell, the shadow special minister of state, wrote to AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin on Friday asking him to investigate the matter “to protect the integrity of our democracy”, arguing the job offer could be considered a bribe.

 

Section 326 of the Electoral Act prohibits bribery to influence a person’s vote or candidature.

Earlier on Friday, shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said he believed an offence may have been committed.

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus demanded an explanation from the Prime Minister.
Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus demanded an explanation from the Prime Minister.  CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

 

“If those reports are true then potentially there may have been offences committed under the Australian Electoral Act,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“Mr Morrison must immediately state all that he knew of this matter and everything that’s known should be disclosed to the public.”

Kent Johns.
Kent Johns.CREDIT:JOHN VEAGE

 

However, Anne Twomey, a constitutional expert at Sydney University who also researches electoral law, was not convinced the act covered preselections.

“It is unclear whether electoral bribery laws would extend to internal party preselection matters, as this is a step away from candidature at an election,” she said.

Cr Johns – a former Labor mayor turned vice-president of the NSW Liberal Party – had the numbers to roll Mr Kelly as the Liberal candidate in Hughes.

He refused the offers made to him, but Mr Kelly was ultimately saved by an intervention from Mr Morrison to ensure all sitting MPs were re-endorsed.

A spokesman for Mr Morrison did not answer questions on Friday afternoon. It is understood Mr Briggs told Cr Johns the job offer had been approved by the Prime Minister and other senior Liberals.

Scott Briggs.
Scott Briggs.

 

A spokesman for the Australian Electoral Commission did not respond before deadline.

Because Cr Johns is a councillor in NSW, it is possible for the issue to be referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, though there is no guarantee the ICAC would investigate the matter.

Mr Kelly said he was previously unaware of the offer that was made to Cr Johns, and had no further comment.

The preselection showdown boiled over in the final parliamentary sitting fortnight of the year amid speculation Mr Kelly would follow former Liberal MP Julia Banks and defect to the crossbench if he lost preselection.

Mr Morrison told Parliament Mr Kelly “never” threatened to quit the Coalition – but in his pleas with Cr Johns, Mr Briggs acknowledged Mr Kelly could “bring down the government” if he did not get his way, and that Mr Kelly “holds the power”.

SCOMO’s Fixer offered Craig Kelly’s challenger a $350,000 Party job to drop out … PART 1

 

COMMUNITY ACTION ALLIANCE FOR NSW (CAAN) Catching up on the Doings in THE SHIRE …

 

POLITICS – MONEY – AMBITION – served up with a slice of PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT …

 

And there’s lots of property development happening across THE SHIRE, and locals are angry.

 

Is this what Joe Hockey meant when he told prospective home-owners to get a better job?

 

Truly, $350K for 6 months work?

 

Will the AFP investigate? Will ICAC investigate?  Perhaps the former would be best in view of the history of the latter …

 

This is Liberal. This is NSW now …

 

THE MAIN PLAYERS …

.

Scott Briggs – (refer articles on the visa processing $ billion contract)

“A Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Board Director and a President of the Federal Electorate Conference for Mr Morrison’s seat of Cook.”

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks – crying poor after a massive fine in recent days, despite the rivers of gold that should be pouring in as over 800 units and a motel erupt from grass that was once precious playing fields.

Sutherland Shire councillor Kent Johns – A former Labor Mayor at Rockdale Council, now the vice-president of the NSW Liberals.

Craig Kelly – Federal Member for Hughes electorate.

Scott Morrison’s fixer offered Craig Kelly’s challenger a $350,000 party job to drop out

 

 

A key confidant of Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered Sutherland Shire councillor Kent Johns a $350,000 party job in an attempt to head off a preselection showdown with sitting Liberal MP Craig Kelly.

Scott Briggs repeatedly called on Cr Johns to drop out of the preselection race for the federal seat of Hughes, adding Mr Kelly would move to the crossbench and “bring down the government” if the challenge proceeded, the Herald understands.

Liberal MP Craig Kelly was saved from a humiliating preselection defeat by the PM's intervention.
Liberal MP Craig Kelly was saved from a humiliating preselection defeat by the PM’s intervention.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

 

Mr Briggs – a Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks board director and a president of the federal electorate conference for Mr Morrison’s seat of Cook – made the approaches as early as October.

He suggested that the $350,000 job with the Liberals’ federal director would be available if Cr Johns pulled out of the preselection contest with Mr Kelly. The six-month role, Cr Johns was assured,  had been approved by the Prime Minister and other key party figures.

 

 

He conceded to Cr Johns and other local party members that Mr Kelly should be rolled but said the backbench MP “holds the power” due to the Morrison government being in minority.

Mr Morrison later claimed in Parliament on December 3 that Mr Kelly had “never” threatened to go to the crossbench.

Mr Briggs made numerous attempts over several weeks to convince Cr Johns, ultimately begging him to drop out for the unity and survival of the Morrison government.

Cr Johns rejected the offers put to him.

The Prime Minister then forced through a special ballot endorsing all sitting NSW members, which members of the Liberal state executive reluctantly supported.

Mr Morrison and his lieutenants exerted significant pressure on the state executive to endorse Mr Kelly. The Prime Minister personally called Waverley councillor Sally Betts, a state executive member, from Easter Island while flying home from the G20 in Argentina.

Mr Briggs also called several state executive members to ensure they voted in line.

The preselection showdown – which had been simmering for months- boiled over in the final parliamentary sitting fortnight of the year when Mr Kelly made threats to cross the floor if he was not preselected.

The revelations show how party figures were desperate to avoid Mr Kelly defecting, despite the Prime Minister saying publicly that he was “never considering” the prospect of Mr Kelly jumping ship.

Mr Briggs did not respond to calls seeking comment. A spokesman for Mr Morrison referred questions to the Liberal Party’s federal director Andrew Hirst.

A federal party spokesman said: “With both a federal and state election taking place in NSW in the first six months of next year, the party will be adding experienced campaigners to our team to ensure the people of NSW don’t face the double whammy of Labor at the state and federal level plus Bill Shorten’s $200 billion in higher taxes.”

Cr Johns declined to comment but referred to a previous statement on Twitter in which he said he was “disappointed” with the outcome but respected the party’s decision.

A former Labor mayor turned vice-president of the NSW Liberals, Cr Johns easily had the numbers to oust Mr Kelly as the Liberal candidate in Hughes.

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull sensationally intervened on behalf of Cr Johns, urging party officials to allow an open preselection in which Mr Kelly would be rolled.

Mr Turnbull said giving in to threats like the one apparently made by Mr Kelly would be “the antithesis of good government”.

OPAL TOWER Sydney evacuation sparks questions about the Building Industry — but not many answers

EXPERTS will attest that Australia is a country with stringent building codes and strong checks and balances for new developments

BUT with the Opal Tower presenting a crack in a concrete panel on the tenth floor of this $165 million apartment development what has happened to the Codes, the strong checks and balances?

CAN this be explained by a developer driven State Government with their whole mantra based on self-regulation, and a dogma based on the market will determine who survives, one must ask, will Joe Public do so under such conditions?

IT would seem Sydney’s dire housing shortage was created by a 100% sell-off to a foreign market, and the supply was unable to meet this foreign demand

NSW Labor Leader, Michael Daley stopped short of suggesting the Opal Tower situation could be symptomatic of broader quality-control problem in the industry

-but suggested there were “more questions to answer” from the industry

 

ANALYSIS

Opal Tower Sydney evacuation sparks questions about the building industry — but not many answers

FRIDAY 28 DECEMBER 2018

 

“Everyone is stunned … no-one has an explanation.”

It is not the answer you want to hear from a developer when explaining a major structural deficiency in a 30-plus storey residential tower in suburban Sydney.

But Bassam Aflak, the director of Ecove — the company behind the Opal Tower development — fronted the cameras today to try and explain why hundreds of families have been kicked out of their homes for the Christmas break.

And, like most people in this now five-day saga, he didn’t have an answer.

“The structural engineers are quite surprised,” he said.

“They [the buildings] just don’t do these sorts of things.”

 

A crack in a concrete panel on the tenth floor of a $165 million apartment development — sparking an evacuation and initial fears the Opal Tower itself might collapse — isn’t supposed to happen in Australia.

As the experts will attest, this is a country with stringent building codes and strong checks and balances for new developments.

The Opal Tower building itself only opened its doors in August.

Part of a wave of apartment developments in western Sydney since the beginning of the decade to address the city’s dire housing shortage, Opal Tower is one of many residential towers that now litter the western suburbs.

Thousands of families who bought into these apartment complexes must quietly be asking themselves about the quality of their own developments.

At Opal Tower, hundreds of residents paid good money — some almost $1 million — to buy into the development, which is proudly advertised as on the Ecove website as “brilliant from every aspect”.

Others were renting or even having a short holiday through Airbnb.

And although engineers have guaranteed the building is structurally sound, the cause of the fault is still not yet known.

 

“What’s it come to in Sydney in the 21st century when people are saying they feel unsafe in their homes?” NSW Labor leader Michael Daley asked today.

“People were doorknocked by people they don’t know, who said: ‘Get out of your house, you might be out for 10 days’.

“‘We don’t know when you’re coming back, se ya later’.”

Mr Daley stopped short of suggesting the Opal Tower situation could be symptomatic of broader quality-control problem in the industry, but finished his press conference by suggesting there were “more questions to answer” from the industry.

By appointing two highly experienced engineers to conduct an independent investigation into Opal Tower, NSW Government will argue it is doing all it can to address the issue at hand.

Meanwhile the builders, developer and engineers behind the project are about to kick off a 10-day “comprehensive investigation” into the crack — the investigation that sparked yesterday’s second evacuation.

They are now breaking down walls to find the source of the problem, and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

But for residents packing their bags to evacuate their home for a second time this Christmas break, it will come as cold comfort.

“We’re not feeling very safe here,” resident Kerry Rouhihi, who rents an apartment with his partner, said today.

“We just want to get out.”

SOURCE:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-28/opal-tower-evacuation-and-crack-sparks-questions-for-industry/10671788

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HAS PARTY BIAS WITHIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT HIT LABOR’s BID TO STOP STADIUM DEMOLITION?

DESPITE the legal advice to Labor from Tim Robertson, SC that the Planning Minister’s consent to the stadium redevelopment on December 6 was in breach of the State Environmental Planning Policy for the Remediation of land …

-that requirements for the design, fitout and construction of the new stadium had not been complied with before consent was granted

-the legal advice showed there had been “egregious breaches” and major flaws in the planning consent for the stadium demolition and build

IS there a Liberal majority or preference within the City of Sydney?

THIS is yet another Bi-Centennial Project to be removed;  with toxic testing  to happen after the demolition … then determine the “action to be taken” … cough … cough …

 

The “new Wave” are building Edifices to their World View … they want no reference to our Anglo Heritage to exist …

Note NSW INC has not demolished the Chinese Garden at Darling Harbour …

THIS looks like another Pipeline of Our Public Assets to the Mates rather than address the Public Needs of hospitals and schools!

 

 

Legal blow hits Labor’s bid to stop stadium demolition

 

The Opposition, which is campaigning strongly against the Berejiklian government’s stadium plans, has released legal advice it sent to four councils from a senior planning lawyer who concluded that the consent for the demolition and rebuild of Allianz Stadium was invalid.

Labor leader Michael Daley says it is now up to local councils to decide whether to take legal action.
Labor leader Michael Daley says it is now up to local councils to decide whether to take legal action.CREDIT:AAP

 

While the Labor and Greens-dominated Waverley and Randwick councils will consider next month if they have an appetite to take it further, the City of Sydney said its lawyers believed that proceedings against the state could leave it liable for substantial costs and damages.

“We cannot expose our ratepayers to that level of risk on a planning matter in which we have no authority,” Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

 

 

He also advised that requirements for the design, fitout and construction of the new stadium had not been complied with before consent was granted, while the public exhibition of the development fell short of a 30-day period for submissions.

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The new Sydney Football Stadium

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2:31

The new Sydney Football Stadium

The state government has released an animated flyover of their vision of the new Sydney Football Stadium.

 

Waverley’s Labor mayor, John Wakefield, said the council would meet on January 7 to decide whether to launch legal action in the Land and Environment Court but he conceded it would be a “big leap” to do so and was likely to require the support of other councils.

“We will not do this lightly,” he said.

While the council had yet to form a position, Cr Wakefield said a second opinion from its barrister had found two of the three main elements of the advice to Labor were significant.

 

Randwick Council also said it would consider the legal advice from Labor at its next meeting but Woollahra Council indicated it had no intention to take the matter further after declaring that it did not have a position on the stadium because it was not within its boundaries. The stadium is in the City of Sydney’s local government area.

Earlier on Thursday, Labor leader Michael Daley said the legal advice showed there had been “egregious breaches” and major flaws in the planning consent for the stadium demolition and build.

But he said it was up to the councils to decide whether to launch legal action.

 

“The ball is in their court. [It is] a flawed consent, particularly in relation to important things like the treatment of hazardous materials,” he said.

But a spokesman for Planning Minister Anthony Roberts accused Mr Daley of a “sad stunt”, and said the criticism of design excellence standards had “no basis in fact” while noting that the mandatory period for consultation was 28 days and not 30.

“Design excellence formed a key part of the assessment. It was considered, and will continue to be refined by the design competition,” he said.

He also rejected Labor’s advice that the consent was in breach of planning policy as “fundamentally, categorically wrong”. The consent was only for the demolition, not for construction of the new stadium, he said.

The Department of Planning said it had expressly considered possible contamination of the site, and consent was provided only for demolition of the existing stadium to the current ground level

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Duration 2:13

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Daley accuses government of stadium scare campaign

The NSW Opposition Leader says the state government are not being genuine about the detail of the contracts regarding the demolition and rebuild of Allianz Stadium.

 

“The department’s assessment found that the risk of contamination on the site is low but that a more detailed site examination must be carried out before the new stadium can be approved,” a spokesman said.

Labor has said it will not rebuild either the stadium at Moore Park or proceed with an $800 million upgrade to ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park if it wins government at the March state election, instead investing the money in schools and hospitals.

OPAL TOWER EMPTIES AGAIN AS RESIDENTS PACK UP THEIR TROUBLES

 

ICON, the Builder has pledged compensation and put on extra staff to handle residents’ concerns on a case-by-case basis.

-displaced residents given the option of a hotel, serviced apartment or the flexibility to find their own accommodation

.residents stood to receive $220 – $500 per night; related to the size of their apartment

ECOVE, the Developer promised to provide a daily allowance of $120 per person to cover meals and other out-of-pocket expenses, like spoiled food in fridges.

ECOVE Director Bassam Aflak having spent the week hiding behind strongly worded press releases which blamed Icon, Mr Aflak today offered an unconditional apology.

BECAUSE all Professionals, Trades, Suppliers, Labourers … all work for the Developer!

 

Residents pack up their troubles as Opal Tower empties again

Dogs, toys, a washing line and a cat in a cage.

These are some of the things residents from Opal Tower took with them on Friday as they evacuated their homes for the second time in five days.

Qi, left, leaves Opal Tower on Friday, as he weighs up whether to return permanently.
Qi, left, leaves Opal Tower on Friday, as he weighs up whether to return permanently.CREDIT:NICK MOIR

 

But as the outside temperature rose, tempers cooled.

Residents were more philosophical compared to the heated scenes on Thursday when news broke of the unexpected evacuation.

 

Building company Icon pledged compensation and put on extra staff to handle residents’ concerns on a case-by-case basis.

Residents battle 35-degree heat as they carry belongings out of Opal Tower.
Residents battle 35-degree heat as they carry belongings out of Opal Tower.CREDIT:NICK MOIR

 

Displaced residents were given the option of a hotel, serviced apartment, or the flexibility to find their own accommodation. Those who chose the latter option stood to receive between $220 and $500 per night depending on the size of their apartment.

On top of that, Ecove promised to provide a daily allowance of $120 per person to cover meals and other out-of-pocket expenses, like spoiled food in fridges.

It took four days for Ecove director Bassam Aflak to speak publicly. After spending the week hiding behind strongly worded press releases which blamed Icon, Mr Aflak performed a U-turn on Friday, offering an unconditional apology.

Japanese engineers were flown in to help identify the problem and propose a solution, which remains days, if not weeks, away.

Opposition Leader Michael Daley made another appearance – his second in three days – criticising the Premier for her absence during the crisis.

Late on Friday a spokesman for Gladys Berejiklian said she had been following the issue “very closely” and promised to apply the ”full weight of the law” if necessary.

As the temperature at Olympic Park reached a stifling 35 degrees, residents battled the heat as they wheeled suitcases and wrangled children. One resident quipped she hoped her hotel had a pool.

Departing Opal Tower on Friday with a washing line tucked under his arm, resident Qi was upbeat.

“I think everything will be good,” he said.

When the building re-opens, Qi said he was unsure about whether to return permanently or find another home.

“We will reconsider in these 10 days. My family recommends us to move out, but we think it’s OK.”

Others disagree and plan to break their lease to move out as soon as possible. Owners, concerned what the debacle has done to the value of their properties, will spend the next few days mulling possible legal action.

Current Housing Design Trends causing URBAN HEAT ISLAND EFFECT in SYDNEY

OBSERVATIONS From Dan …

“I am seeing areas affected by this which I passed through in a heatwave, and then other areas were cooler thanks to tree canopies and ground covers.

A second airport taking out farmland, remnant Koala habitats and forests is going to increase this exponentially for the entire of the Sydney-wide area. This means more air- conditioning thanks to the poorly designed ‘glorified tents’ with zero eaves and more emissions.”

RECALL it was in July 2018 CAAN visited “The Ponds” and saw for ourselves what Dan and these Architecture Professionals are talking about!

The knowledge is there … why are developers allowed to put profit before people?

TIME for the NSW Government to rectify this now!

 

Popular design trends causing urban heat island effect in Sydney

Dark roofs, masonry, lack of shading elements, reliance on artificial cooling, and insufficient greenbelts are some of the urban design mistakes responsible for the urban heat island effect in cities, says Professor Chris Knapp, chair of architecture at Western Sydney University.

Rapid urban development, increasing city populations and rising summer temperatures are drawing focus to the issue of urban heat islands, which cause grey infrastructure such as roads, carparks, footpaths, roofs and buildings to continue to radiate heat long after sunset, causing discomfort to communities.

Calling for new constructions in Western Sydney to take heed, Knapp says local councils must be proactive in supporting and developing sustainable design.

“If not for buildings and infrastructure, we would not have an urban heat island effect, but it is a consequence of how our societies are formed today,” he says.

Pointing out how popular design trends are the very cause of urban heat increases, Knapp explains that dark roofs and unshaded heavyweight materials such as brick and concrete blocks absorb more heat than light coloured surfaces. Additionally, high-density materials such as masonry retain heat very well, and expel and re-radiate heat long after the sun goes down, while homes that don’t feature shading devices or screens fail to protect inhabitants from the sun.

Relying on air-conditioning for cooling instead of effective insulation and ventilation in the building design as well as insufficient greenbelts and parks between property developments causing slow dissipation of heat are the other reasons listed out by Knapp for the rising urban heat island effect.

Smarter buildings and public spaces need to be designed to mitigate this issue, says Knapp, adding that extreme urban heat has significant impact on public health, energy consumption, animal behaviour and global warming.

Dr Sebastian Pfautsch, senior researcher in Urban Ecosystem Science, works with local governments in western Sydney to document baseline conditions of urban heat and develop strategies to mitigate its impact.

“Although today even pre-school kids learn about sustainability, the new suburbs built across western Sydney are far removed from this concept. No outdoor shade, no cool-roof or cool-street technology, no smart stormwater management, long commutes to work, high degrees of isolation,” says Pfautsch.

He calls on councils, developers and researchers to join forces and develop demonstration sites “where the public can experience firsthand what sustainable urban design looks and feels like. We must start collecting the evidence that is necessary to drive change in standards, codes – and importantly public perception and demand.”

Dr Abby Mellick Lopes, Senior Lecturer in Design and lead of the Institute for Culture and Society’s Cooling the Commons project, says building and public space design is a crucial element in preparing cities for extreme heat events.

Infrastructures such as shaded outdoor seating and drinking fountains that made public spaces more liveable in the past have declined, with many western Sydney residents now having little access to shade, outdoor shelter or public drinking water.

Lopes recommends involving people in the design of the material and social environments in which they live.

“Cheap construction that relies on air-conditioning to the detriment of quality public space is untenable. Cooling is also a community issue,” she says.

“We need social strategies for living well in a climate-changed future, such as promoting greater use of riverside parks and public spaces in the evening, as practiced in other hot environments in Asia and the Middle East.”

 

Rapid urban development, increasing city populations and rising summer temperatures are drawing focus to the issue of urban heat islands. Image: WSROC

 

 

SOURCE:  https://www.architectureanddesign.com.au/news/popular-design-trends-causing-urban-heat-island-ef?fbclid=IwAR1ciqOSenD5X0UTsIPFouOEUmNY1ny1oT8BCCiMNHH6Cg5FOmYQ_ojoDxE

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Popular design trends causing urban heat island effect in Sydney

Dark roofs, masonry, lack of shading elements, reliance on artificial cooling, and insufficient greenbelts are some of the urban design mistakes responsible for the urban heat island effect in cities, says Professor Chris Knapp, chair of architecture at Western Sydney University.

Rapid urban development, increasing city populations and rising summer temperatures are drawing focus to the issue of urban heat islands, which cause grey infrastructure such as roads, carparks, footpaths, roofs and buildings to continue to radiate heat long after sunset, causing discomfort to communities.

Calling for new constructions in Western Sydney to take heed, Knapp says local councils must be proactive in supporting and developing sustainable design.

“If not for buildings and infrastructure, we would not have an urban heat island effect, but it is a consequence of how our societies are formed today,” he says.

Pointing out how popular design trends are the very cause of urban heat increases, Knapp explains that dark roofs and unshaded heavyweight materials such as brick and concrete blocks absorb more heat than light coloured surfaces. Additionally, high-density materials such as masonry retain heat very well, and expel and re-radiate heat long after the sun goes down, while homes that don’t feature shading devices or screens fail to protect inhabitants from the sun.

Relying on air-conditioning for cooling instead of effective insulation and ventilation in the building design as well as insufficient greenbelts and parks between property developments causing slow dissipation of heat are the other reasons listed out by Knapp for the rising urban heat island effect.

Smarter buildings and public spaces need to be designed to mitigate this issue, says Knapp, adding that extreme urban heat has significant impact on public health, energy consumption, animal behaviour and global warming.

Dr Sebastian Pfautsch, senior researcher in Urban Ecosystem Science, works with local governments in western Sydney to document baseline conditions of urban heat and develop strategies to mitigate its impact.

“Although today even pre-school kids learn about sustainability, the new suburbs built across western Sydney are far removed from this concept. No outdoor shade, no cool-roof or cool-street technology, no smart stormwater management, long commutes to work, high degrees of isolation,” says Pfautsch.

He calls on councils, developers and researchers to join forces and develop demonstration sites “where the public can experience firsthand what sustainable urban design looks and feels like. We must start collecting the evidence that is necessary to drive change in standards, codes – and importantly public perception and demand.”

Dr Abby Mellick Lopes, Senior Lecturer in Design and lead of the Institute for Culture and Society’s Cooling the Commons project, says building and public space design is a crucial element in preparing cities for extreme heat events.

Infrastructures such as shaded outdoor seating and drinking fountains that made public spaces more liveable in the past have declined, with many western Sydney residents now having little access to shade, outdoor shelter or public drinking water.

Lopes recommends involving people in the design of the material and social environments in which they live.

“Cheap construction that relies on air-conditioning to the detriment of quality public space is untenable. Cooling is also a community issue,” she says. “We need social strategies for living well in a climate-changed future, such as promoting greater use of riverside parks and public spaces in the evening, as practiced in other hot environments in Asia and the Middle East.”

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