MEDIA REPORTS since the cracking and evacuation of the Homebush OPAL Tower on Christmas Eve … followed by the major structural issues for Mascot Towers, the Erskineville and Zetland apartments have been targeting ‘Private Certifiers’.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian vowed the ‘full weight of the law’ for any Opal Tower wrongdoing … that her government will “hold everyone to account” …
AND when structural cracks emptied Homebush’s Opal Tower at Christmas time, then-minister Matt Kean blamed dodgy certifiers. “I’ll throw the book at you,” he said.
Read more …
WHY is it that the NSW Government, the Premier, the Minister for Better Regulation (both current and former), and the media … are all overlooking which GROUP, which Body is really responsible for the decline in building standards … since 1998?
BECAUSE we believe we have found it in ‘black and white’ …!!
IN this report:
2001: TOWERS OF TROUBLE
‘The NSW Government introduced a scheme that offered developers an option to almost completely privatise the process
-under the change these “private certifiers” would report directly to the developers who had contracted them to inspect the buildings‘
The Herald has learnt that private certifiers are used in up to 30 per cent of all new buildings in NSW.
Significantly, the majority of those jobs are the bigger projects being undertaken by the larger developers.
** Patricia Gilchrist, the executive director of the Urban Development Institute of Australia, which lobbied for the change, said the new system was working well and had cut down on the lengthy delays of the old system.
(See below ** for the UDIA ABOUT)
“I know that sometimes people see it as something a little bit perhaps sinister, but it is really not the way we see private certifiers … [They are] a spur to better service,” she said.
*”Where councils held the monopoly, we felt we weren’t getting the service. It is particularly a timing issue, there were delays, and when developers have got borrowed money and when they have sold units, people are anxious to move in.”
*But Peter Woods, the president of the Local Government Association, which opposed the move, said he didn’t think the Government had thought the consequences through.
“Our view in local government is that it’s not just about maintaining bureaucratic control, it’s about representing people to protect their interests,” he said.
“One of those interests is to ensure quality control.
“We saw enough bad practice before private certification came in … what happens when we open the floodgates and say all we want is a signature on a piece of paper?”
Read more …
UDIA ABOUT …
** The UDIA is a federation of five state associations which aims to secure the economic success and future of the development industry in Australia.
UDIA seeks to create awareness that national prosperity is dependent on our success in housing our communities and building and rebuilding cities for future generations.
Our members cover a wide range of specialist and industry fields, including: Developers, Valuers, Planners, Engineers, Architects, Marketers, Researchers, Project Managers, Surveyors, Landscape Architects, Community Consultants, Environmental Consultants, Lawyers, Sales and Marketing Professionals, Financial Institutions, State and Local Government Authorities, and Product Suppliers.
The change to certification came about in 1998.
*With Ms Gilchrist’s response: ”Where councils held the monopoly, we felt we weren’t getting the service. It is particularly a timing issue, there were delays, and when developers have got borrowed money and when they have sold units, people are anxious to move in.”
Perhaps the delay with Councils was exacerbated due to the huge growth of development created by developers marketing their ‘new homes’ to overseas buyers? A huge market particularly in China with 1.4 Billion People!
Related Article: Lessons from the cracks in Sydney’s Opal Tower go beyond building certification