OCN in the Media

OCN in the Media2020-10-05T23:21:13+11:00
3July, 2019

Minister defends city’s high-rise housing

3 JULY 2019 The Minister for Better Regulation has denied there are widespread problems in the city's high-rise residential housing sector, saying "I don’t believe there is any great cause for alarm for other apartment buildings across Sydney". Announcing an emergency financial assistance package for residents of the beleaguered Mascot Towers block on Sunday, Minister Kevin Anderson said the NSW government would restore "confidence" with "the biggest shake-up of the [...]

3July, 2019

Mascot Tower owners crowdfunds to raise $1m

3 JULY 2019 Sydney Mascot Tower owners have started crowdfunding to raise money after an owners' meeting on Thursday elected to raise a special levy of $1.1 million to fix the defective building. The Owners Corporation Network agrees it is time for governments to look at better consumer protections for homebuyers. Strata management also needs another look-in while homebuyers, particularly the growing number of apartment owners, need to continue take [...]

3July, 2019

‘No effective oversight’: why the Opal and Mascot Towers cases may be the tip of a very large iceberg

03 JULY 2019 The Mascot Towers crisis is the second seismic shock delivered to the Sydney high-rise residential market in just six months, following the emergency evacuation of residents from the Opal Towers at Homebush on Christmas Eve. The Mascot Towers crisis is the second seismic shock delivered to the Sydney high-rise residential market in just six months, following the emergency evacuation of residents from the Opal Towers at Homebush on [...]

3July, 2019

Mascot Towers resident angry over restricted access to strata meeting amid cracks in building

3 JULY 2019 A resident evacuated from a Sydney apartment complex is angry over what they say is an attempt to block them from bringing supporters and legal representatives to tonight's owners' meeting. One Mascot Towers apartment owner, who did not want to be identified, said she asked a colleague who is a lawyer to accompany her to the meeting, only to find out he was not welcome. On Tuesday, [...]

3July, 2019

The statistic that could make you think twice about buying in a high-rise

3 JULY 2019 Building defects in the Opal Tower and Mascot Towers have cost residents financially and emotionally, but the Grenfell Tower disaster in London cost dozens of people their lives. However, a new report from Deakin University has revealed 97 per cent of apartment buildings in New South Wales, and 85 per cent across Australia have some form of structural defect. It follows studies by the University of New [...]

3July, 2019

Calls for change as apartment owners forced to foot the bill to save unsteady building

3 JULY 2019 A controversy has erupted in Sydney where residents evacuated from the cracked Mascot Towers have been left homeless and told they'll have to foot the repair bill. Building defects in NSW are covered under manufacturer warranty for six years after construction.  Following this, the burden of paying for all repairs falls to the owners. A controversy has erupted in Sydney where residents evacuated from the cracked Mascot [...]

3July, 2019

Sydney’s dirty strata secrets emerge through cracks in Mascot Towers

3 JULY 2019 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 [...]

3July, 2019

Mascot Towers unit owners to foot bill for repairs prompting calls for better consumer protections

3 JULY 2019 Owners of apartments in the Mascot Towers development will be left with a hefty bill to repair structural damage as the building is too old to fall under warranty, with property experts calling for better consumer protections. Residents were forced to evacuate the 10-storey Sydney building on Friday night after major cracks appeared in its beams. Temporary building props were installed in the carpark earlier in the [...]

2July, 2019

Buyer interest plummets as Sydney’s failing high-rises trigger headlines

2 JULY 2019 Sydney residents were evacuated from their Mascot Towers homes in June after cracks appeared in their walls, in an incident that echoed Christmas Eve’s Opal Tower evacuation in Sydney’s Olympic Park area. The images of confused residents milling outside the troubled towers with pets and belongings in their arms have come to represent New South Wales’ high-rise housing crisis. Nearly all (97 per cent) of new high-rise [...]

23June, 2019

Experts warn of more major building defects to follow Mascot Towers drama

23 JUNE 2019 Just six months after Sydney’s Opal Tower was dramatically evacuated, another Sydney high-rise has been hit by potentially devastating cracks. And experts say the nightmare facing residents of Mascot Towers won’t be the last. According to Owners Corporation Network spokesman Stephen Goddard, these incidents could be just the tip of the iceberg. He said the problem was probably far greater than most people realised because many owners within [...]

23June, 2019

Minister defends city’s high-rise housing

23 JUNE 2019 The Minister for Better Regulation has denied there are widespread problems in the city's high-rise residential housing sector, saying “I don’t believe there is any great cause for alarm for other apartment buildings across Sydney". Announcing an emergency financial assistance package for residents of the beleaguered Mascot Towers block on Sunday, Minister Kevin Anderson said the NSW government would restore "confidence" with “the biggest shake-up of the [...]

19June, 2019

Buying a new high-rise apartment is a risk best avoided

19 JUNE 2019 I write this piece as one of the lucky apartment owners. Lucky not because I managed to break into the apartment market, but because I survived it financially intact.The predicament facing Opal Tower and Mascot Towers apartment owners is only the visible tip of a very big iceberg. So my advice to my kids today, and anyone who'll listen, is this: do not buy a new apartment, [...]

18June, 2019

Cracked up: how can apartment buyers guard against a defective purchase?

18 JUNE 2019 With faults and cracks discovered over the weekend in Sydney’s Mascot Towers apartment complex – and similar cracks in Opal Tower six months ago – the spotlight is back on the quality of New South Wales apartment buildings. Research from the University of NSW in 2015 found that 85% of new apartment buildings had defects at completion – mostly with waterproofing and fire detection systems – and [...]

17June, 2019

‘Daunting’ reality for strata lot owners after Mascot Towers evacuation

17 JUNE 2019 Strata lot owners could have to pay for building repairs after the Mascot Towers residents were evacuated. Owners Corporation Network President Gary Petherbridge tells Ross Greenwood the problem is systemic.  “People shouldn’t be buying off the plan anymore, you’re better off to wait 10 years until the property is sorted out.” > Listen to the full interview at 2gb.com Brooke Corte

16June, 2019

Falling through the cracks: Governments slammed over building standards after Mascot evacuation

16 JUNE 2019   Lawyer and strata specialist Stephen Goddard claimed developments could be rushed through by governments eager to profit from stamp duty and other taxes. “Everybody is on a money hit,” Mr Goddard said.  “The government wants to keep the builders building because it gets stamp duty … what happens in the end? People who buy in these apartments get it in the neck.” > Read the full article [...]

16June, 2019

Mascot Towers unit owners to foot bill for repairs prompting calls for better consumer protections

16 JUNE 2019 Stephen Goddard, spokesman for the Owners Corporation Network — an advocacy group for owners in strata schemes — said owners of apartments in the decade-old Mascot Towers development were no longer covered by the statutory warranty period and would now be left with a hefty bill. "Consumers have nowhere to go in these sorts of situations, there's nobody for them to sue, there's nowhere for them to [...]

11June, 2019

NSW off-the-plan buyers to get better protection under new laws this year

11 JUNE 2019 Off-the-plan property buyers will soon be better protected when long-awaited legal changes come into effect this September – and inject much-needed confidence into the Sydney new apartment market, project marketers predict. As a result of changes to conveyancing laws approved by the NSW Parliament late last year and to be introduced in the next quarter, developers will be made more accountable to buyers, and there’ll be more [...]

10June, 2019

Unit rates changes fail to fix fundamental flaw

10 JUNE 2019 Disgruntled ratepayers are amassing a war chest in order to fight future rises, saying changes to the way the charge was calculated in this year's budget do not fix the underlying flaw in the system. Separate rating factors will be introduced for houses and units for the first time, to help smooth out some of the huge rates increases seen by unit owners in the past two [...]

4June, 2019

NSW still without Airbnb rules, one year after plan was announced

04 JUNE 2019 It’s been one year since the NSW government announced it would regulate Airbnb but the state is still without firm rules on short-term letting. In the meantime, it has left Anne Sullivan dealing with apartments in her Strathfield complex that are regularly let through Airbnb and used as party houses. “We’ve had people urinating off balconies, throwing beer bottles off the balcony,” Ms Sullivan said. “We’ve called [...]

1June, 2019

Falling Through the Cracks

01 JUNE 2019 "The ancient Greeks believed opal came from the tears of Zeus.  When opal turns to tears again it will ... bring down Australia's booming high rise apartment business." - From the Opal Tower Sydney Residents Facebook page Three months after the initial evaculation of Opal Tower on Christmase Eve 2018, nearly half of the tower's apartments are still not fit for reoccupation and hundreds of people remain [...]

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