Friday 5th of June 2020

stop substandard buildings from going up... or down...


Harry Triguboff's Meriton wants immediate reforms to the construction industry in NSW to stop substandard buildings from going up, as a growing number of experts argue the government should issue low-interest loans to apartment owners battling defects.

The perception of a crisis in Sydney’s residential apartment market snowballed this week after the Herald revealed another evacuation of a unit block at Zetland, while the Premier conceded that self-regulation had failed.

Some in the development industry have warned that buyers could be scared off by the focus on apartment defects. But a spokesman for Meriton, whose ubiquitous apartment blocks have made founder Mr Triguboff one of the country’s richest people, said the company had “full confidence that everything will be resolved.”

However, the Meriton spokesman also said the government should “immediately” implement a simple change to industry practice.



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Image at top doing the rounds on the email and twitter circuits

city living is bad for you...


The hearts of young city dwellers contain billions of toxic air pollution particles, research has revealed.

Even in the study’s youngest subject, who was three, damage could be seen in the cells of the organ’s critical pumping muscles that contained the tiny particles. The study suggests these iron-rich particles, produced by vehicles and industry, could be the underlying cause of the long-established statistical link between dirty air and heart disease.

The scientists said the abundance of the nanoparticles might represent a serious public health concern and that particle air pollution must be reduced urgently. More than 90% of the world’s population lives with toxic air, according to the World Health Organization, which has declared the issue a global “public health emergency.


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fixing the cracks...

Construction giant Icon claims it has spent $24 million since the evacuation of its cracked Opal Tower skyscraper, despite putting only $1 million aside as a "provision for defects".

Key points:
  • Fifteen owners are still locked out of their apartments as repairs continue
  • The $24 million repair bill is expected to keep growing
  • One expert says the amount put aside by Icon was indicative of an under-regulated industry 


Financial statements accessed by the ABC reveal Icon — the company that built the tower — was holding just $1.09 million in the fund for its portfolio of buildings across NSW.

However, it has forked out $24 million and counting since the Opal Tower disaster, which happened just months after the building opened its doors.

Many builders have funds to cover defects, however one expert said the "very modest amount" Icon had put aside was indicative of the under-regulated industry and an example of why reform was needed.

All 392 apartments in Opal Tower, at Sydney's Olympic Park, were evacuated on Christmas Eve when cracks were spotted in the building, with residents forced out of their homes and into temporary accommodation.

More than eight months on, 15 owners are still locked out of their apartments as rectification works continue.

Some owners have launched a class action law suit against the State Government.

Icon told the ABC the "Opal Tower event" was insurable, however it did not reveal how much of the $24 million — which also includes an amount spent on housing residents in temporary accommodation — it was planning to claim.

It said the bill to repair Opal Tower would not come out of the $1.09 million defects fund, listed in its financial results.


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Remember the days of "wallpapering the cracks"...