There is a smell in the corridors of the fourth level of government, strata, that is coming from the level above, local councils.
More than 200 residents of an apartment block in western Sydney will have to relocate indefinitely after the roof was torn off their apartment block, and their insurer has rejected their claim – because the building didn’t comply with the Building Code of Australia, despite, or perhaps due to, being developed by a controversial Auburn councillor, certified by that same council and with strata management provided by another member of that council (story here).
To the east, ICAC (the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption) has been told that millions of dollars in Botany Bay Council funds have been ‘misdirected’ by employees (more information here). That same council is the centre of prolific strata development where allegations have been made of certification of property as being fit for occupation that could not possibly have met that standard when signed off.
The certification debacles are not limited to Sydney. Melbourne’s Lacrosse owners are being hit up for fines after their faulty cladding caught fire after being certified fit for use by the developer’s consultants, and there are cases in Canberra too where certification practices are being called into question.
I’ve seen enough. I know other strata and building professionals that have as well. Private certification of high rise residential buildings is a disaster; and lives and property wealth are directly at risk as a result.