MEADOWBANK HOLDMARK DEVELOPMENT FOUND WANTING …

THE brother of the very well-known developer Jean Nassif … Sarkis Nassif … ‘if there is one thing Sarkis Nassif hates, it’s being compared with his brother!’

Sarkis is richer … hasn’t been busted for cocaine possession … nor the subject of spoof online videos about a yellow Lamborghini …

Sarkis Nassif tarted working as a form worker for $60 a day in the 1980ss. He is now one of the state’s most successful developers.
Sarkis Nassif tarted working as a form worker for $60 a day in the 1980ss. He is now one of the state’s most successful developers; Daily Telegraph;

‘He’s gone on to make a hell of a lot of money turning Parramatta, MEADOWBANK, Burwood and Auburn into high-density neighbourhoods.’

Within the industry insiders say “he’s very well regarded and seen as decent to do business with”.

HOWEVER in July 2019 two Ryde apartment blocks built by Holdmark were issued with orders over concerns they had combustible cladding.

Read more: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/concrete-kings-of-sydney-leaving-their-footprints-across-the-suburbs/news-story/ca28985fac5bfcd931acf0490df9a3e7

AND now as reported by Ben Pike in ‘Holdmark Property Group’s Meadowbank apartment “defective” ‘ the Holdmark Property Group is accused of failing to fix significant defects at its 250 apartment Meadowbank development project 14 months after residents moved in …

Rod Jackson and fellow owners fear they could face enormous repair bills despite only having moved in a little over 12 months and a warranty period of six years!

Mr Jackson in 2018 bought a two-bedroom apartment off the plan for $970,000 claims Holdmark has failed to fix rotting gyprock walls, leaking lifts, glue bleeding out of the external stairs, crumbling sandstone walls and a central water fountain that remains closed.

‘The defects are so bad NSW Builder Commissioner David Chandler has personally stepped in to try and help desperate residents get the problems fixed.

Image may contain: sky, skyscraper and outdoor

CAAN Photo from our ‘Godzillas with execessive Footprints’ report: Holdmark’s Nancarrow Avenue, Meadowbank development.

“These defects are a direct consequence of poor tradesmanship and shoddy building practice,” Mr Jackson said.

Further, a 10m wall on Nancarrow Ave will soon collapse without some serious rectification.

-a staircase with its wall collapsing with movement

WHY is it that the home owners believe they will have to wear the cost of demolition and reconstruction of the wall?

Thing sandstone tiles falling off the walls.
Thing sandstone tiles falling off the walls. Daily Teleraph Photo
The wall next to 6 Nancarrow Ave, Meadowbank. Picture: Christian Gilles
The wall next to 6 Nancarrow Ave, Meadowbank. Picture: Christian Gilles

‘A structural engineer, who did not want to be named, said “there might be some localised risk of dislodgement of small pieces of block or render — which even small pieces can be very dangerous falling from a height”.’

The Sunday Telegraph obtained a copy of the strata committee’s annual general meeting held in January which reveals the owners have had to engage lawyers to get Holdmark to fix the defects with a 20% strata fee increase to initiate legal proceedings

Image may contain: sky, skyscraper, tree and outdoor

CAAN Photo: the wall referred to above is next to this apartment development at 6 Nancarrow Avenue, Meadowbank.

Meanwhile the NSW Fair Trading Commissioner has assigned a case manager for the matter to assist these home owners. The Building Commissioner, David Chandler has got a commitment from Mr Nassif to attend to the concerns

Holdmark was provided with a list of questions including why so many Harvard building apartments owned by the company remain empty.

PERHAPS CAAN can answer that question … because it is a consequence, no doubt, of the FIRB Ruling allowing developers like Holdmark to sell up to 100% of ‘new homes’ to foreign buyers who can park their money in Australia’s domestic real estate, and leave them vacant

Foreign buyers can also launder ‘black money’ in residential property because the Real Estate Gatekeepers are exempt from Anti-Money Laundering Laws (Morrison Govt October 2018)

*WHY not share to let others know? SEARCH CAAN Website for reports on these matters … *

The Harvard Building Apartment Owners were fobbed off with the reply:

“As the building you refer to has been handed over to the Body Corporate Association, your questions should be sent directly to them for comment,” the spokeswoman said.

“Holdmark is absolutely committed to maintaining an ongoing association with the body corporate for the building during the statutory warranty period.

The external stairwell has been closed for more than a year and is next to a wall owner Rod Jackson claims could collapse within two years.
The external stairwell has been closed for more than a year and is next to a wall owner Rod Jackson claims could collapse within two years.

AND that Holdmark would continue to work with the body corporate and strata manager to resolve any issue brought to their attention.

IS that good enough? WHY should owners not only at Holdmark’s Meadowbank development but home owners across the board ‘face financial ruin’ from defective work? For two-bed homes close on $1M?

ASK why are the Building Commissioner’s powers are so limited? Cough … cough …

2012 study by City Futures surveyed 1,020 strata owners across NSW, and found 72% of all respondents (85% in buildings built since 2000) knew of at least one significant defect in their complex.

damning 2015 report from Engineers Australia found that 85% of new strata units were defective on completion and the certification system in NSW had “broken down”.

In 2017 a City of Sydney survey identified defects and maintenance as the top concern of owner occupiers of apartments, along with short-term letting through organisations such as Airbnb.

NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge said:

“The extent of defects in high rise apartments are so widespread that I would find it difficult to believe any apartment constructed in the last decade is free of them,” he said.

“The most common, and often the most expensive, problem that keeps being identified is the failure of waterproofing.”

READ MORE! AND VIEW THE PHOTOS OF THE DEFECTS

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/holdmark-property-groups-meadowbank-apartment-defective/news-story/102f94dffa508168eb0576209e74d520

SEARCH CAAN WEBSITE:

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.wordpress.com/

Virus to exacerbate building construction bust

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Photo: TUD

AUSTRALIA used to make ‘everything’ … will business learn from the CV? We are hearing that there will be changes! A return to onshore manufacturing … do we hear that?

AND so much of what is imported now is of a lesser quality, and we wonder why we have a landfill problem?

Virus to exacerbate building construction bust

Leith van Onselen

By Leith van Onselen in Australian EconomyAustralian Property

March 10, 2020 | 4 comments

2020 was already shaping as a tough year for Australia’s construction industry.

According to the ABS, dwelling approvals collapsed in the 2019 calendar year, down 28% from peak, with commencements following close behind:

*Now, (the) picture has worsened with Australian Shop & Office Fitting Industry Association CEO, Gerard Ryan, claiming its members are looking at delays to projects of up to six weeks because the corona­virus outbreak is delaying the supply of products from overseas:

Major building projects involving shops, offices, airports and hotels are set to be delayed by at least a month because of the corona­virus

Australian Shop and Office Fitting Industry Association CEO Gerard Ryan said his members were preparing for delays to projects of between four and six weeks, but the longer the outbreak went on, “the worse that will get”.

About 98 per cent of lighting comes from overseas, while marble, tiles, and bathroom and door products are often sourced from Europe.

“Any delay potentially stops the whole project. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle — everything needs to ­follow something else,” Mr Ryan said.

“If you can’t get your tiles or flooring down, that’s going to ­affect something else. If you can’t get your electrical work, cabling and lighting finished then that also affects something else”

Bob Richardson, chairman of the Australian Construction Industry Forum’s research council, said materials for building ­facades, components and finishes were affected as contractors sought extensions for projects.

Australian construction jobs hit a record high 1.2 million in the August quarter of 2019, in spite of the dwelling construction bust:

Now it is facing an epic bust as sites across the nation shutdown.

Leith Van OnselenLeith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/03/virus-to-exacerbate-building-construction-bust/

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Insurers pull pin after flammable cladding fiasco

London insurer quits PI market

Another insurer has withdrawn from construction’s professional indemnity market. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

THE SOLUTIONS FROM COMMENTATORS!

-I tell you what – make Directors of building firms criminally liable, then let’s talk. The problem with making the taxpayer liable is that you never end up eradicating the bad behaviour – you just encourage more of it.REPLY

-Stop shiitсvnts erecting shiit buildings (many of them can be deported, too). Everything that remains will be insurable.

Or well capitalised and not need insurance in the first place. Those are the free market solutions!

-The solution here has already been done for decades and produced high quality buildings. Get rid of the privatised regulation of the past 20 years. Give regulation back to local government where it belongs, was done efficiently with certifiers employed by Councils and where there is no need for PI insurers for this work. The privatisation model has failed.

AND BRING BACK ‘THE CLERK OF WORKS’!

Related Article: Foxes in Charge of the Hen House New Building Law has a Fatal Flaw!

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2020/03/07/foxes-in-charge-of-the-hen-house-new-building-law-has-a-fatal-flaw/?fbclid=IwAR08z5BWGyCYy7l02clfe40qFG4I1i-RcllmDhCrK5xafEAuQZWvYSWoG3g

Insurers pull pin after flammable cladding fiasco

By Leith van Onselen in Australian Property

at 1:20 pm on March 10, 2020 | 6 comments

Insurers pull pin after flammable cladding fiasco

Last year, the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors (AIBS) released a member communique warning that “the situation around Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance has reached crisis point” with “a real possibility that without government intervention… private building surveyors may be forced out of work and the construction industry across Australia will be significantly impacted”.

The situation arose after some surveyors had failed to gain PI because of risks surrounding flammable cladding, which has been widely used across Australia’s high-rise, unless cladding-related claims are excluded.

Today, The AFR reports that UK-based insurer HDI Speciality is quitting Australia’s professional indemnity insurance sector. Consequently, broker Bovill Risk & Insurance Consultants (BRIC) is trying to find an alternative provider for one fifth of its clients who are building surveyors and certifiers.

According to PwC research, the construction sector has not been profitable for PI insurers since 2011. And the Insurance Council of Australia is calling for a national solution:

“There’s no certainty in the industry about the longevity of availability of insurance,” [Pat Beaumont, BRIC’s manager of professional risk] told The Australian Financial Review.

“You’re fighting tooth and nail to get renewals done, just for every renewal. And the costs and excesses… are not sustainable for many businesses”…

“Because the current PI insurance model is not sustainable, the latest white knight has galloped away, leaving the current unsatisfactory model yet another step closer to collapse,” Australian Institute of Building Surveyors chief executive Brett Mace said.

“Governments can no longer continue to ignore the warning signs of the last two to three years.”

The Insurance Council of Australia said the dilemma facing building industry consultants was no closer to being resolved than when building ministers met last month

“The federal government must implement the Shergold-Weir [report’s] recommendations as a matter of urgency.”

I’m not sure what the answer is. But clearly a national solution is required and the federal government must step up (to) the plate.

Leith Van OnselenLeith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/03/insurers-pull-pin-after-flammable-cladding-fiasco/

Foxes in charge of the hen house: new building law has a fatal flaw

Professionals other than Elizabeth Farrelly too have called for a return to a system akin to the former Architect/Engineer/CLERK OF WORKS approach as the way to go to ensure well constructed, safe, serviceable and durable buildings.

The Earth’s resources are finite! Including Sand and Water to make concrete …

YET the Cowboys have been building defective towers with demolition in mind 20, 30 years down the track …

The Earth is being choked with Waste! We are running out of landfill sites!

DEVELOPERS with their Population/Housing Ponzi have enticed foreign buyers to leave their dwellings behind them for duplication here in Australia … the Population Ponzi created the need for the supply that could not meet the foreign demand …

OPINION

Foxes in charge of the hen house: new building law has a fatal flaw

Elizabeth Farrelly
Elizabeth Farrelly

Columnist, author, architecture critic and essayist

March 7, 2020

View all comments

NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler muses wistfully, in an interview, about “when I get my powers.”

Suddenly I’m seeing capes and catsuits. It makes me want to lob in the word kryptonite, see what happens. But Chandler does have the grace to add, “it’s not about me”. Further, in his defence, it is about powers.

Fixing our broken building system will involve serious, inviolable regulatory powers. Very old school.

So intensely, in fact, does Chandler’s task pivot on re-regulating what has been gleefully, over 30 years, deregulated, that the other lurking presence is a word even scarier than kryptonite. A word even Bernie Sanders scarcely dares breathe. Socialism.

From the top: Erskineville apartment development, Zetland, Homebush Opal Towers and Mascot towers.
From the top: Erskineville apartment development, Zetland, Homebush Opal Towers and Mascot towers.CREDIT:KATE GERAGHTY, NICK MOIR, BROOK MITCHELL

Most of the last three decades’ system-demolition has been ideologically driven. Now, perhaps, they’re starting to see sense. Triggered by catastrophe, the new Design and Building Professionals Bill is expected to clear Parliament by month’s end and become fully fledged law, regulations and all, by January 2021.

Most of us have been surprised to find we live in a supposedly first-world state where your building can crack and fall, your balcony collapse, your cladding erupt in flame and your living room flood, rain or no.

Compounding that nasty surprise, hundreds uncertain about the safety or saleability of their homes, is the minuteness of our redress. Just as our apartment-dwelling numbers have soared, our legal protections have become vanishingly small.

This is no coincidence. You ride a bike, nanny says wear a helmet.

But you want to develop a flood plain, import dodgy materials, water-down concrete, masquerade as an engineer, flaunt the height limit, build a slum and vanish into bankruptcy, chances are you’ll get away with it. Where there are profit-gods to appease, deregulation rules.

Perhaps the “Millennials” now in charge can’t be expected to grasp backstory. Anyone who, like the Treasurer, practices Thatcherism while dismissing discussion of it as “outdated”, anyone who says “heritage is of no value if we can’t experience it”, is probably too young to know that regulation for public wellbeing is the core function of government.

Perhaps they really think government exists to make the rich richer. Trickle down, etc.

Illustration: Simon Letch
Illustration: Simon LetchCREDIT:

But for those with eyes to see, watching the Libs (and before them new Labor) wreck our old-growth institutions has been like watching the weasels destroy Toad Hall.

Egged on by developer lobby groups, neo-liberal governments have frantically attacked red tape as though its nominal colour were some kind of political stance.

In this way, all civilising constraints on our building system have been deliberately and progressively weakened. Planning controls, import restrictions, site supervision, contractual protocols, certification, licensing, liability provisions and vocational training – all debilitated to make building easier, cheaper, faster. But even to a Millennial, it can be no surprise that easier, cheaper, faster equals shoddier, tackier, worse.

This is huge. It’s cultural. So what is Chandler’s solution, and will it work?

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Sydney’s seven deadly sins of development? No, I call it a symphony

Chandler offers six pillars. (Yes, you’ll need to step around the ubiquitous construction metaphors).

The new act is Pillar One.

Pillar Two is a risk-rating tool designed to let the commissioner identify the likely dodgy buildings and developers, and conduct special on-site audits complete with stop-work powers.

Pillar Three is educational. This involves working with the Master Builders Association and others to rebuild systems and standards trashed along with our once-excellent TAFE system, leaving responsibility all-too-often with semi-literate sub-contractors.

Pillar Four is about better contracts; Pillar Five mandates digitisation of information and Pillar Six is about nurturing quality research – including, one can only hope, some intense post-occupancy evaluation.

*Once some trust has been, ahem, rebuilt, Chandler also wants to negotiate the insurance industry towards mandatory decennial insurance giving affected apartment-owners 10 years of cover for structural defects, as in Britain and France.*

But it all turns on the new bill. This is a complex and technical piece of legislation, but its essence is dramatic.

First, it requires the building as-built to match the design.

Second, it establishes a duty of care from the builder to the end owner (but not to renters). *

Both sound so obvious most of us probably presumed they already pertained. Not so. Not in any way that matters.

Closing the huge gap between the intention and the deed between the building as-designed and as-built – will be the new act’s biggest test. The bill proposes to nominate “design practitioners”, generally architects or engineers, who must declare that the design complies with the Building Code of Australia and other regulatory instruments and standards. These, electronically lodged, are the declared drawings.

At the other end of the process the builder must declare that the building has been built accordingly. These as-builts are also lodged electronically, and both sets must match. For any deviation, including possibly thousands of on-site variations, the builder is responsible. Then, and only then, may the certifier issue the occupation certificate.

Failure to make such declarations carries a penalty up to $165,000. Making fraudulent declarations, up to two years in jail.

NSW building commissioner David Chandler addresses a parliamentary inquiry.
NSW building commissioner David Chandler addresses a parliamentary inquiry.CREDIT:AAP

All good, as far as it goes. But is that far enough?

Chandler believes these mechanisms, combined with the industry’s dawning awareness of shattered public confidence, will change behaviour. Sticks, carrots.

But hmmm. It’s not just behaviour. This transformation of cowboy-land represents huge cultural change. Can it work?

Call me old fashioned, but the sensible way to build, if you give a damn about the result, is how it used to be done. The architect – who alone knows the building holistically and who alone must be fully educated, regulated, registered and insured – designs the building, does full working drawings, lets the contract, supervises the work.

A variant on this is the clerk of works system, where an independent on-site specialist scrutinises all shonks, shortcuts and discrepancies.

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*Little of that pertains now. Under the now-normal D&C (design and construct) contract, both the design practitioner and certifier are employed by the developer/builder.

Chandler insists that the bill makes the developer responsible and the certifier a “public official”, and that this will be transformative.

Thing is, the person in charge is still the person incentivised to skimp. I’d like to be wrong, but I reckon any fox running a hen-house gonna be bearded in blood and feathers.

Elizabeth Farrelly

Elizabeth Farrelly is a Sydney-based columnist and author who holds a PhD in architecture and several international writing awards. She is a former editor and Sydney City Councilor. Her books include ‘Glenn Murcutt: Three Houses’, ‘Blubberland; the dangers of happiness’ and ‘Caro Was Here’, crime fiction for children (2014).

SOURCE: https://www.smh.com.au/national/foxes-in-charge-of-the-hen-house-new-building-law-has-a-fatal-flaw-20200305-p5478x.html

NSW Government lets dodgy builders off the hook

Image result for Bianca De Marchi/AAP

Bianca De Marchi/AAP

WHY is the New South Wales government struggling to implement building industry reforms recommended by the Shergold-Weir report over two years ago?

NSW Government lets dodgy builders off the hook

Leith van Onselen

By Leith van Onselen in Australian Property

March 5, 2020 | 6 comments

Geoff Hanmer, Adjunct Lecturer in Architecture at UNSW, claims that proposed NSW Government reforms to building certification will let dodgy developers off the hook:

The New South Wales government is struggling to implement building industry reforms recommended by the Shergold-Weir report over two years ago.

Developers are home free in its proposed legislation; the Design and Building Practitioners Bill doesn’t even mention them. They still appear to be in a position to collect the profits and then phoenix themselves if something goes wrong.

And something is going wrong all too often. David Chandler, the NSW building commissioner appointed to oversee the reforms, said recently he was “ a bit despondent” after seeing “some really regrettable things out there” in a program of site visits…

The bill has the avowed aim of making people who design and build buildings responsible for non-compliance with the National Construction Code by getting them to sign certificates attesting that the building is built according to the code.

This is a guarantee of not very much. The code does not regulate durability or require that buildings be waterproof. Plus, of course, many people have been signing similar certificates for certifiers without it having had much impact to date.

The bill has many other faults and omissions. It does not require a principal design practitioner to be appointed to a complex project and no one is identified as the lead consultant. This means there is no person identified to coordinate design work between all disciplines (architecture and engineering) or to ensure design declarations relate to work as actually done, taking into account all engineering designs and site conditions.

The most critical problem is that the people signing the attestations are not required to actually inspect work during construction. Such a requirement was a key recommendation of the Shergold-Weir report.

The purpose of the bill, other than as political soft soap, is unclear…

[The NSW Government is] in thrall to the development industry, which believes reintroducing these measures will reduce its profits.

The developers are right about this; building properly is more expensive. But I think most buyers would happily pay a bit more for a safe and durable product. They do that when buying consumer durables such as cars and appliances.

The fact of the matter is that for the better part of 20 years, the development industry demanded more and more deregulation and the removal of “red tape” in the planning system to allow them to build bigger apartments faster. This, they claimed, would allow housing supply to respond to demand and help fix the housing crisis.

Instead we’ve gotten rubbish apartment blocks spreading like weeds across Sydney, many requiring rectification, with owners and taxpayers left to pick up the tab.

For years, the development industry has been allowed to run rampant across Sydney. It now must be muzzled, not placated, by the NSW Government.

Leith Van OnselenLeith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

CAAN Photo: Spalling (concrete cancer) alongside ramp down to basement parking; the basement has wall cracks, multiple cracks in concrete floor and water leaks down the walls!

CAAN: Suggestion when buying an apartment check the basement carpark for like defect signs … the basement holds up the rest of the building!

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/03/nsw-government-lets-dodgy-builders-off-the-hook/

NSW tells flammable building owners to fix it themselves

David Chandler

PHOTO: NSW building commissioner David Chandler said building owners might have to cover the costs of repairs themselves. (AAP: Bianca De Marchi)

WHAT else could we expect?

WERE the Building Commissioner’s hands tied behind his back?

WAS it all a Charade … so that the Berejiklian Government could be seen to be doing somethin’?

THE NSW GOVERNMENT has had its Stamp Duty coffers overflowing for much of its terms since 2011 to date … yet it can’t fund the cost of cladding replacement?

Illustration: John Shakespeare

WE HAVE THE NUMBERS SYDNEY ….

ARE we going to allow these punks to continue to build 85% defective rubbish and clad with cheap combustible cladding? And walk away Scot free?

NSW tells flammable building owners to fix it themselves

By Leith van Onselen in Australian Property

February 25, 2020 | 9 comments

After experiencing an unprecedented boom in high-rise apartment construction over the past decade:

And with flammable cladding and structural faults proliferating across Sydney, the NSW Building Commissioner has told apartment owners not to expect a ‘bail-out’:

David Chandler

The NSW Building Commissioner has warned that owners of buildings with defects will not be bailed out by the Government.

“There isn’t a glove that’s going to land around them and write a cheque to rectify [the problems],” he said during a parliamentary inquiry into the state’s building standards.

He added that in instances where there was not a building company to seek damages from, owners would “have to stump and get that work done”.

The State Government will this week again attempt to get through the Upper House its Building Practitioners Bill, which aims to provide a legislative framework to better regulate the industry.

Going by the ABS’ approvals data, around 200,000 high-rise apartments were built across NSW over the past decade, a significant percentage of which likely contain faults.

The cost of rectification will be massive, with owners facing hefty bills while many developers getting away scot-free.

While the announced Building Practitioners Bill is welcome, it amounts to shutting the gate long after the horse has already bolted.

The NSW Government is too late the hero and should never have allowed this situation to develop in the first place.

Leith Van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/02/nsw-tells-flammable-and-defective-building-owners-to-fix-it-themselves/#comments

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ALERT! NSW Construction Crisis Fix is Two Years Away!

WILL the Berejiklian Government ‘see reason’ and return the Design and Building Practitioners Bill to the upper house with what appear to be reasonable changes submitted by the Greens for an independent building commission to support the work of Mr Chandler, and the Labor proposal for the establishment of a professional engineers’ registration scheme?

WHAT’s the problem?

THIS should happen as soon as the last week of February! Especially since the report aired of the $6,371,572 Property Development Sector donations to the Liberal Party May 2019 Election Campaign!

VIEW: https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2020/02/07/aec-figures-show-property-sector-donations-favour-the-liberal-coalition-at-eight-to-one/?fbclid=IwAR0b8apOCg9zZCCWfM6s_Ffby0GKOLLx1_xbl0n7jB-1DIqFL79AsUVNYJI

EXTRACT: ‘Warning NSW construction crisis fix is still two years away’

By Megan GorreyMatt O’SullivanLaura Chung and Nigel Gladstone

David Chandler, NSW Building Commissioner made his comments following the emergency crews called to Mascot Towers on Thursday night.

‘The NSW Building Commissioner has warned a major fix to the state’s residential construction crisis is two years away, as fresh cracks emerged in Sydney’s troubled Mascot Towers apartment block.

In an interview with the Herald, David Chandler admitted he had been “a bit despondent” after visiting some “pretty awful” construction sites in recent weeks.

Victoria Police fear emerging gun culture after string of shootings

Play video1:19Fresh concerns around Sydney’s Mascot Towers

Fresh cracks have shown in Sydney’s infamous Mascot Towers.

“There are some really regrettable things out there that abhor me,” he said.

“We’ll be in a much better position by 2022 once we’ve started to change the culture of the industry and get people back to what they should be doing.”

Many of Mr Chandler’s measures to better protect owners from shoddy industry practices hinge on the Berejiklian government being successful in a renewed attempt to push its building reform package through the NSW upper house later this month.

“If I can substantially reduce the incidence of [building defects] and ensure that’s not what’s coming through the pipeline – that to me is the most impactive thing we could do,” Mr Chandler said.

Buildings across Sydney have been evacuated due to safety concerns.
Buildings across Sydney have been evacuated due to safety concerns. CREDIT:KATE GERAGHTY, NICK MOIR, BROOK MITCHELL

Mr Chandler said he had been “actively out there” on sites in an attempt to ensure owners and residents being crippled by building defects was “not the case for the future”.

“We’ve set up a framework for much clearer accountability of the parties. Until now that clarity hasn’t been there,” he said.

“At the moment there’s no order – there’s grey areas everywhere.”

Former NSW treasury secretary Michael Lambert, who led a landmark review into building regulations in 2015, said he had greater confidence in the most recent measures planned to rectify the shortcomings in building standards.

But he warned there would continue to be a risk over the next two to three years in the large strata buildings erected.

“There will be dodgy brothers around building dodgy buildings,” he said. ‘‘There is not a magic wand – I wish this process had been commenced some time ago.”

Mr Lambert said the key to improving standards was developing a “risk-based approach” that targets high-risk developers, builders and buildings and ensures they have insurance.

“For builders, that means professional indemnity insurance. It is about using that to try to put pressure on builders which are not up to standard,” he said.

“The approach [the building commissioner] has adopted is sound.”

The government abandoned an attempt to pass key legislation by the end of 2019, when it pulled its building reform bill from the NSW upper house as it faced defeat on significant changes proposed by Labor and the Greens.

The Greens wanted an independent building commission to support the work of Mr Chandler, while Labor was proposing the establishment of a professional engineers’ registration scheme.

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Despite the setback, the government will return the Design and Building Practitioners Bill to the upper house in the last week of February.

Owners Corporation Network executive officer Karen Stiles was pleased the building commissioner was “attacking the problem on a number of fronts” but said “building quality is an absolute issue”.

“Most of our members come to us because of building defects. I’ve had people crying, there are people who are suicidal about these things. We’ve got a long way to go,” she said.’

VIEW for the full report: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/warning-nsw-construction-crisis-fix-is-still-two-years-away-20200207-p53yuw.html

Buildings across Sydney have been evacuated due to safety concerns.

FLAMMABLE CLADDING Spreads to Thousands more Apartments

Biowood cladding on Ryde building. Photo: Supplied

BIOWOOD has now been declared UNSAFE by NCAT!

-70% pulped wood

-23% PVC

Owners of apartments in buildings out of the six-year claims period, however, won’t be able to sue developers and builders for defects

CAAN has come up with a Campaign Plan … WHY not have a go?

 … Because unless you do, you will definitely not get a ‘Fair Go’!

CAAN’s Campaign can be adapted to many issues!

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2020/01/28/until-it-happens-huh/?fbclid=IwAR3DXBQb17_gwhax57LOk6qAhdpaZyTahPd1Q3005yhZk2ByvFOuSVjMr9I

Flammable cladding spreads to thousands more apartments

By Leith van Onselen in Australian Property

January 28, 2020 | 4 comments

Australia’s flammable cladding fiasco is expected to worsen after so-called “biowood” was declared unsafe by a NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) tribunal judgment:

If not overturned, the ruling over Biowood – a composite material of 70 per cent pulped wood and 23 per cent PVC – will vastly widen the scope of materials apartment and commercial building owners have to scrutinise in assessing the fire dangers of their buildings

Building services company Roscon, which inspects buildings and advises on rectification, said the ruling could prompt reconsideration of the scope of products considered in the audits led by state governments.

“There is a multitude of products out there in the industry that are used as cladding facade product that will now come [under] scrutiny,” Roscon national general manager Sahil Bhasin said…

The ruling orders Taylor Construction and Frasers to replace the Biowood attachments on the walls of the two buildings with 148 apartments, and to pay the costs of the owners’ corporation that brought the case.

According to Faiyaaz Shafiq of JS Mueller & Co Lawyers, who conducted the case at NCAT, the ruling could impact “thousands and thousands more buildings all across Australia”:

“This will affect thousands and thousands more buildings all across Australia”

“We think this is the first ruling in Australia, and possibly in the world, against Biowood, and it will have consequences for so many buildings that used it, thinking of it as a safe and aesthetically pleasing cladding”…

*Owners of apartments in buildings out of the six-year claims period, however, won’t be able to sue developers and builders for defects; they will be compelled to undertake the replacement at their own cost.

The bill for removing flammable aluminium cladding was already estimated to be “many, many billions of dollars”, so adding ‘biowood’ to the mess will obviously lift the repair bill further.

This is more bad news for Australia’s growing army of apartment dwellers who, through no fault of their own, are being left with financially crippling repair bills, alongside apartments whose values are being decimated.

When viewed alongside the widely reported structural faults across Australia’s high-rise, it is clear that the whole building industry is dysfunctional and needs a royal commission.

With Australia’s population growing like a science experiment due to mass immigration, and apartments now the dominant form of new housing across Australia’s major cities, the industry must be cleaned up as a matter of urgency.

Leith Van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs. Share on Facebook

  • The Combustible Cladding You Don’t Know About
The combustible cladding you don

A NSW tribunal found timber cladding on this apartment building in Ryde was combustible and non-complaint with the building code. Photo: Renee Nowytarger Photo: Renee Nowytarger

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/01/flammable-cladding-spreads-to-thousands-more-apartments/

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Nearly one in five sellers in high-rise suburbs lost money

WHAT do you make of this?

DESPITE aspiring First Home Buyers now tending to steer clear of newly built high-rise apartments … with apartment suburbs in freefall after tower disasters …

OWNERS are being forced to drop their price by as much as $60,000 or $ 70,000 yet developers are still forging ahead with high-rise …

THE home seller may lose this much but the developer is still set to gain as each unit is built for say $200,000 … give or take …

-high density of high-rise towers very lucrative for developers

THE Property Council is running Australia with their former policy writer at the helm … so for the next 50 years Sydney is set to grow by 107,000 people annually

47,000 Chinese fly into Australia every week; with more at Chinese New Year and Golden Week

-a huge number of homes built very quickly; the 85% defective on completion rate is likely to be maintained

-Berejiklian Govt instead of enforcing the recommendations of Lambert, Shergold and Weir proposes a ratings scorecard for builders

MORE OF THE SAME! OR ARE YOU GOING TO JACK UP SYDNEY? .. IT’S YOUR CALL

IF you are fed up with the Housing PONZI Scheme and want to change this …. message us through our Facebook link below for a Campaign Plan! *

Related Article ….

NSW Government proposes ratings scorecard for builders to prevent construction disasters

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2020/01/21/nsw-government-proposes-ratings-scorecard-for-builders-to-prevent-construction-disasters/?fbclid=IwAR0S5HrAsQhYUQqA4lILgzADmhTT80zKGkXRmIBNvbmaNHmy1hDU3VaGBwc

EXTRACT: Nearly one in five sellers in high-rise suburbs lost money

Aidan DevineAidan Devine 25 JAN 2020Opal Tower

There is an oversupply of high-rise apartments in parts of Sydney, with plenty more units still under construction. Picture: Angelo Velardo

Losses are mounting for unit sellers in Sydney’s high-rise suburbs as a recent spate of building disasters sours buyer demand for homes in large apartment towers.

Close to one in five sellers in the high density Parramatta and Canterbury-Bankstown council areas exchanged their properties for less than they paid for them, while about 15 per cent made a loss in Ryde.

Sellers also made frequent losses in the Strathfield council area – which neighbours Sydney Olympic Park’s Opal Tower, a building residents were forced to evacuate in late 2018 due to dangerous cracking.

-about 16% of sales incurred a loss for vendors: CoreLogic records for September quarter

MORE: Sydney’s auction hotspot revealed

Demand for housing at record high

-average seller in these city regions lost between $60,000 – $70,000 after 4 years

YET with the remainder of Sydney, sellers rarely lost money due to record-low interest rates fuelling housing demand.

Residents of Olympic Park’s Opal Tower were forced to evacuate over dangerous cracking.

-more than 90% of city sellers sold with a profit with average profits from $70,000 in Burwood to $1.1 M in the northern beaches.

-almost 99% of Mosman sellers made a profit; just over 95% of sales vendor profit in council areas of Waverley, North Sydney and Hunters Hill

CoreLogic head of research Eliza Owen said sellers in high-density suburbs were struggling because there were too many other vendors to compete with at a time when buyers were turning away from high-rise units.

“Cracking would have made buyers weary … property is probably the biggest purchase they’ll make,” Ms Owen said.

“There’s also a huge supply of (high-rise) properties up for sale, most of which were meant to appeal to investors.

Ms Owen added there was a rush from some investors in high density areas to sell because rents were falling and vacancies were rising, increasing their holding costs.

-investors selling properties were head to head with developers who continue to release new housing

nearly 45,000 new units recently approved across Parramatta and Ryde LGAs

Realestate.com.au head of economic research Cameron Kusher said the longer-term outlook for unit sellers was more positive.Darmo Aerial

Parramatta has one of the biggest pipelines of new unit projects.

It would likely take 18-24 months for excess housing stock in areas like Parramatta to get absorbed if population growth trends continued, he said.

-sellers in the northern beaches and eastern suburbs selling for large profits with 3 and 4 bedroom homes appealing to families; dominant in the market

SELLERS WHO LOST MONEY (by LGA)

Parramatta 19%

Canterbury 18%

Ryde 16%

Strathfield 16%

Cumberland 15%

Source: CoreLogic

SOURCE:

https://www.realestate.com.au/news/nearly-one-in-five-sellers-in-highrise-suburbs-lost-money/?rsf=syn:news:nca:dt:spa

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NSW moves too late on dodgy high-rise builders

NSW moves too late on dodgy high-rise builders

By Leith van Onselen in Australian Property

January 21 2020

After experiencing an unprecedented boom in high-rise apartment construction over the past decade:

And with flammable cladding and structural faults proliferating across Sydney, the NSW Government has finally taken action by giving the NSW Building Commissioner the power to block dodgy developers from building high-rise:

Designed to prevent repeats of the Opal and Mascot Towers ­crises, the reform package — likely to form a blueprint for a national ­industry shake-up — will grant sweeping powers to the NSW Building Commissioner to stop defective apartment blocks from being built, particularly if they are linked to contractors with poor track records…

The new regulations will for the first time rank builders, developers and certifiers according to their record on workplace safety, their track record on customer complaints, the age of their business, financial credibility, suspicions of phoenixing, and dozens of other metrics.

They would be given a score akin to a credit rating. Those with poor scores would be flagged on a database to ensure their practices were heavily scrutinised…

The reforms, while better than nothing, amount to shutting the gate long after the horse has already bolted.

Going by the ABS’ approvals data, around 200,000 high-rise apartments were built across NSW over the past decade, many of which likely contain faults.

The cost of rectification will be huge and will likely fall on both apartment owners and taxpayers alike, with most developers getting away scot-free.

The NSW Government is too late the hero and should never have allowed this situation to develop in the first place.

Perhaps we need a blitz on the politicians that allowed this mess to occur in the first place and have actively cheered on the boom?

Leith Van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/01/nsw-moves-too-late-on-dodgy-high-rise-builders/