22 October 2021

You’d be forgiven for thinking high-rise apartment blocks are crumbling like soggy Tim Tams all over NSW while the rest of Australia’s unit blocks are pristine monuments to better building practises. But, bad as things are in Sydney, it may look worse there than anywhere else because issues have been exposed and are being addressed.

In NSW, the Owners Corporation Network has plugged away on the defects front for almost 20 years. Starting as a small group of disgruntled owners, it has grown into a strong, independent voice, consulted by the state’s policymakers and supported financially by local government and strata industry professionals.

To be fair, there’s no question that the Opal and Mascot Towers scandals led directly to the appointment of Building Commissioner David Chandler and the legislation that gives him the power to get things done.

But he didn’t stride alone and unarmed into an empty arena. Behind him was 20 years of solid consumer advocacy.