PHOTO: The Opal Tower saga has sparked questions about the building industry (AAP: Mick Tsikas)
HOW likely is it that a ratings scorecard for builders will be adequate to ensure any protection for home buyers/owners? To prevent construction disasters?
HOW will a scorecard cut it? Seriously … HOW much damage will have been inflicted on many very ‘unfortunate’ apartment buyers before a Scorecard is available?
WHY not rewrite Australia’s Building Codes?
WHY not implement the Lambert and Weir/Shergold Reports?
AND ensure a Clerk of Works is on the job on every project!
A CASE in point is the ongoing difficulties for the buyers of the ‘Sugarcube Apartments and Honeycomb Terraces’ … the City of Sydney refused to allow residents to occupy the 127 homes since their completion in April 2018 due to the site being contaminated!
At 6 January 2020 City of Sydney reported in its Update that:
‘We’ll continue to work with the developer until we’re satisfied it
has taken all necessary steps to ensure the site is suitable for purchasers to move in.’
VIEW: UPDATE 6 January 2020: Sugarcube Apartments and Honeycomb Terraces
To restore public confidence in apartments, rewrite Australia’s Building Codes
Michael Lambert lambasts NSW Government over Building Defects!
NSW Government proposes ratings scorecard for builders to prevent construction disasters
By Jessica Kidd
21 JANUARY 20202
RELATED STORY: New twist in Opal Tower saga as builder launches counter lawsuit
RELATED STORY: ‘Absolutely devastating’: Mascot Towers cracks getting bigger, report finds
RELATED STORY: How to avoid living in a ‘lemon’ — what you need to know before buying an apartment
RELATED STORY: What lies beneath the cracks in Opal Tower — and buildings across Australia
The NSW Government wants to introduce a range of measures to clamp down on dodgy developers and prevent a repeat of the Opal and Mascot towers cracking crises.
- As part of the proposal, builders would be rated on the quality of their previous work
- People would be blocked from occupying buildings that are deemed dodgy
- Sydney’s construction industry has been under the microscope since the Opal Tower and Mascot Towers were evacuated
The Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson, is proposing several reforms designed to revive faith in the building industry.
“There is a real lack of confidence in the NSW construction industry,” he said.
“We’re seeing people second-guess themselves when they do go to look at buying off the plan — they want to have confidence.”
He wants to introduce a risk rating system for builders, certifiers and developers that would score them on the quality of their previous projects to weed out the dodgy operators.
“At present … there is really nothing that sets anyone apart when you’re either doing a good job or a bad job,” he said.
“What we want to be able to do is set up a system to weed out those who do the wrong thing — those who cut corners, those who cut costs, those who sign contracts and then screw the contractors down whether it be on price or on quality.“
PHOTO: The 132-unit Mascot Towers building was evacuated last June. (AAP: Bianca De Marchi)
Under the proposed reforms, the state’s Building Commissioner, David Chandler, would be able to examine any operator found to have a risky rating and would have the power to block a building’s occupation certificate if the project is deemed potentially dangerous.
Without an occupation certificate, a building cannot be occupied and a developer would be forced to refund deposits.
Labor’s spokeswoman for building reform, Yasmin Catley, said the proposed regulations do not go far enough.
“The bill looks to beef up enforcement, which of course is important, but that is not going to fix the problem,” she said.
“You need compliance, boots on the ground checking that critical building milestones have been built well.
“It is a shame that all the Government can bring to the table is a mechanism to rank builders.”
The proposed reforms would require the NSW Parliament to pass the Government’s Design and Building Practitioners Bill, which is currently being held up in the Upper House.
Mr Anderson said he hoped to get the bill passed when Parliament resumes this year.