Could cracks in Sydney’s Opal Tower be a forewarning of times to come?
Less than 6 months after residents of the Opal Tower moved in, the building started showing cracks on the 10th floor. Engineers have since ruled out issues with the prefabricated concrete panels and now fingers are pointing to errors made in the construction or design of the build.
Bottom line, the industry has taken a hit and the Government is acting.
The Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni comments, “The building and construction industry in Australia has seen decades of deregulation, largely in the pursuit of productivity.”
“That has created a race to the bottom and as a result, confidence in the building integrity system has been undermined” says the Minister.
In the wake of this near-miss, plans have already been announced by the Queensland Government to fastback reforms that aim to improve the standards and compliance of certifiers. This is supported by the recent Shergold Weir Report which concluded serious reform to Australia’s building certification, compliance and enforcement systems was needed.
Despite these gloom-and-doom reports, Mr de Brenni commented that “Queensland had adopted all the recommendations in the report, noting that in most cases our standards were already at or above those proposed in the report, and where there are gaps, these are identified and will be rectified through the implementation of the QBP in 2019,”
The Minister is adamant that all states and territories must follow Queensland’s example in embracing the changes to building certification, for the good of the nation.
What exactly will these reforms entail? Only time will tell.