Hundreds of residents in a Sydney apartment complex, the 122-unit Mascot Towers, were evacuated last Sunday when cracks began to appear due to a serious structural failure. And it isn’t clear when the residents can return.
This crisis echoes the structural failure at Opal Tower and its evacuation on Christmas Eve last year. We have seen a series of serious building failures and fires in recent years. And state and federal governments have had more than year to act on recommendations for better construction regulations, but instead they’re shifting blame.
Although each building failure was different, the end result is the same: misery for the residents and a looming financial disaster for the owners.
It’s difficult to estimate the total bill for remedial works to all apartment buildings built over the last 25 years, but it may well exceed the Productivity Commission estimates of savings resulting from the introduction of the National Construction Code.
All governments must take an active role in fixing the defective regulatory regime they have created. If they can’t get on with this process in a timely way, we will need yet another royal commission to sort it out.