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The masonry at Mascot Towers isn't the only thing cracking in Sydney this week. The entire edifice of silence and self-interest which has encouraged government and the market to turn a blind eye to the true extent of building defects in new strata developments is crumbling. For 20 years, new residential strata schemes have been plagued with building defects. According to one estimate, 80 per cent of all new residential strata schemes are constructed with defects. Yet the government response has been to shrink consumer protections. Statutory warranties have decreased as has access to home building insurance.