01 JUNE 2019
Five months ago, Shady Eskander’s short-term plans involved watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks from his new apartment on the top floor of Opal Tower in Sydney’s Olympic Park. Longer term, he and wife Amy hoped to start a family. But plans were up-ended on Christmas Eve when major cracks found on the 10th floor of the $165 million skyscraper forced an emergency evacuation. Hundreds of residents remain in temporary accommodation as nearly half of Opal Tower’s 392 luxury apartments are still not fit for reoccupation. Last year’s benchmark Shergold-Weir report outlines “significant and concerning” problems with the residential construction industry across Australia and made 24 recommendations to lift standards. In February, the NSW government announced a regulatory overhaul of the state’s construction sector, but Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson has yet to commit to a timeline and the government appears to be moving slowly on implementing some reforms.
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Megan Lehmann & Sascha O’Sullivan