25 June 2021

Apartment buildings have the capacity to be super-spreaders of COVID-19 “like vertical cruise ships”, but the state government has completely ignored the potentially catastrophic dangers, those in the sector claim.

With one of Sydney’s biggest apartment towers now in lockdown after a resident tested positive to the highly infectious Delta variant, angry apartment owners and professional managers have accused the authorities of negligence.

“We’ve got shared airconditioning systems, shared lifts, shared common areas like lobbies, stairways, lounges, gyms and pools, and yet when someone comes down with COVID, there are no clear guidelines or advice on what to do,” said Karen Stiles, the executive officer of the Owners Corporation Network.

“There should be protocols in place but, when you ask the Department of Health or the Department of Fair Trading, no one can give you an answer. It was bad enough in the last lockdown, but with the Delta variant being so infectious, the dangers are potentially even worse with apartment buildings like vertical cruise ships. But we’re being completely disregarded by [the] government.”

Sue Williams

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