NSW sweeps building cracks
The NSW Government has announced a crackdown on dodgy building certifiers.
The Government was slammed over the festive period as concerning cracks emerged in Sydney's Opal Tower.
The building had to be evacuated on December 24th when a crack was found in a pre-cast concrete panel inside the building.
Residents were allowed back in soon after, before being evacuated for a second time so that a “comprehensive investigation” into the incident could be undertaken.
The State Government has now appointed two engineering professors to put together a report for public release.
But there is further pressure on the Berejiklian Government to ensure the safety of many other buildings that have shot up in Sydney in recent years.
Minister for Better Regulation, Matt Kean, has announced a number of new steps.
“If you're a certifier who's done the wrong thing, I will find you and I will throw the book at you,” he said.
“I will rub you out of the industry if you're found to be doing the wrong thing.”
The new measures include a widespread compliance operation to audit 25 to 30 per cent of certification work in a “strike force-style approach”.
“We're looking at buildings that are currently being constructed, and buildings that have gone up in recent times,” Mr Kean said.
A new disciplinary policy will immediately decertify operators found to be corrupt or to have negligently signed off on a building which is unsafe or structurally unsound.
Certifiers who are found to have breached the industry's code of conduct on building quality will be banned from working on new strata developments for 12 months.
The Government has also pledged to provide more information to home owners and buyers about certifiers’ disciplinary record and work history.
Mr Kean said the crackdown is not necessarily because of the way the Opal Tower was certified.
“There's an investigation going on, I want to wait until we get the results of that investigation, but what it has highlighted is further community concerns about certification in NSW,” he said.
More changes could be on the way soon.
“Certification is one piece of the puzzle here, but there are many other parts of the building industry where we need to shine a light on what's been going on,” Mr Kean said.
“I want to make sure we do whatever is possible to give the public confidence that the buildings that they are living in across Sydney are safe.”