Insurance companies are now demanding a national building quality watchdog, with powers to enter building sites to check for banned products, such as dangerous Chinese electrical cabling, flammable cladding and imported wall panels laced with asbestos.
ALMOST a month after London’s deadly Grenfell tower blaze, Australia’s top engineering body has warned that greedy developers are potentially putting lives at risk by “cutting corners” and building shoddy high-rise apartments.
Since the Lacrosse fire in November 2014 Australia has experienced an unprecedented construction boom with high-rise buildings changing the face of our urban landscape and billions of dollars invested in new homes in the sky. It would be reassuring to think our government considered it a priority to ensure there was a legislative framework that guaranteed the safety of these buildings.
Only weeks before the discussion paper on new holiday letting legislation is released, Fair Trading has modified its Strata Living handbook to warn strata committees and owners corporations that they can’t pass by-laws restricting holiday lets.
Frightened high-rise tenants are imploring their landlords to move them to another property or rescind the lease because of fire concerns, creating more problems for apartment owners and investors already worried about valuations.
At a time when many governments worldwide are recognising the need to make their construction industries more competitive and productive in the face of forces reshaping the industry, Australian governments seem to be headed in the opposite direction.
A SPECIALIST team of fire safety auditors has begun inspections of apartment buildings constructed since 2005 across the Ku-ring-gai region — following the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in London last month.