Gladys Berejiklian says the government 'know there's a problem' around building regulations

Gladys Berejiklian says the government 'know there's a problem' around building regulations
Gladys Berejiklian says the government 'know there's a problem' around building regulations

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said the government wanted to assure everyone they know there is a problem with building regulation. 

"We know there's a gap in legislation. We allowed the industry to self-regulate and it hasn't worked," she told reporters on Wednesday.

"There are too many challenges, too many problems and that's why the government's moving to legislate."

 Berejiklian spoke after it was revealed that a Zetland apartment block had been evacuated late last year and has sat vacant for the last eight months.

The Garland Lofts complex, comprising 30 warehouse conversion-style apartments, had a number of problems, most notable the waterproofing issues.

Phillip Bartlett, one of the directors of the now liquidated developer Garland 204 Pty Ltd, noted in an issued statement that "an insurance claim was settled."

"I have a legal obligation to comply with the insurers’ requirements," Bartlett continued.

"There were a number of parties involved and I am unable to make any further comment."

The SMH reported today in 2011, the owners' corporation launched a claim against the builder, Garland Builders Pty Ltd, and the joint developers of the project, Garland 204 Pty Ltd and Garland 204 Retail Pty Ltd.

They settled an insurance claim in March 2018 for $1.7 million, on the condition the insurance company was released from all further liability.

A few months later a contractor embarked on $1.2 million worth of repairs, but in August 2018 owners received a letter advising "unanticipated structural and fire defects" had been discovered by the contractor.

In October the new law firm acting for the owners' corporation, Chambers Russell, circulated a letter calling for the "urgent" evacuation of the building which happened in November.

Water damage had "significantly compromised" the corridor and the separations between units, essential for fireproofing the building.

"The structural integrity of the building has also been brought into question," the letter said.

"Significant timber decay and steel corrosion may result in premature structural collapse in the event of fire.

"Experts have unequivocally stated the strata scheme is not suitable for habitation in its current state as it poses a serious risk to the health and safety of all occupants."

At an information night, residents were told that with the newly discovered defects was "likely to be in excess of $5,000,000 and potentially substantially more".

Zetland Building Defects

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