21 January 2020
A risk-rating system for builders and new powers for the building regulator to stop suspect high-rise apartment towers are among measures the NSW government wants introduced to avoid further incidents like Sydney’s cracked Opal and Mascot towers.
The government used the release of the measures to renew pressure on Labor and the crossbench to pass its building reform legislation, which stalled in the NSW Upper House late last year. While the risk-rating system can be more easily rolled out, the legislation needs to be passed to give NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler the power to withhold occupation certificates from developers.
Without a certificate, a developer would have to refund deposits on apartments because residents could not move in.
Karen Stiles, the executive officer of the non-profit Owners Corporation Network, said the measures were an important step towards re-regulating and recalibrating the industry but more needed to be done. “We have to get the Bill through the Upper House. We need regulating of other engineers and disciplines,” she said.
The Sydney Morning Herald