18 December 2019
On Christmas Eve last year, Jenny (not her real name) carried her baby down to the ground floor after being told to evacuate Opal Tower, moments after she heard a loud bang while she was in her apartment.
“They told us all to “back off, back off”,” she said. “The police said the building was going to fall down and that we had to walk away from the building.” Nearly seven months later, she moved back for the first time since she left her Christmas cooking unattended in her kitchen.
A year after its spectacular evacuation amid “cracking sounds”, Opal Tower was still a construction zone for its 392 owners and residents while builder Icon hadn’t fulfilled all its promises including making rental compensation to owner-investors who couldn’t rent out their units.
The Owners Corporation Network was disappointed with how the Opal Tower crisis was handled. “Some of these residents have been displaced for almost a year,” executive director Karen Stiles said. “Self-regulation has failed spectacularly. Governments must step up and govern.”
The Australian Financial Review