Category Archives: Dangerous Defects

Sign our Change.org petition- stopping the NSW State Government from closing submissions into Building Defects prematurely

Sign the petition on this link:

Read and Sign Petition

http://chng.it/fLTP2KHB6y

The current situation with dangerous building defects in the Australian multi-apartment sector is dire.

Apartment owners fear the worst, from structural failure and imminent fire to potential evacuation of their apartment block. This situation could even be life threatening and the tragic memory of  Grenfell (2017) and Bankstown (2012) still haunts us (see the photo chronology of key events above).

This petition exposes the inadequate time period that the State Government and Department of Fair Trading have given for the public and industry to assess their recent response  to the building defects situation and for people to make a meaningful response. The petition seeks an extension of time for the response to 30 September 2019 (an extra two months).

Background

There have been several reports to the NSW State Government over the past five years with the latest being the Shergold-Weir Report in February 2018. The industry and public have been waiting for a government response and finally it has come but with little public awareness and fanfare and now within an inadequate time frame.

The Government response is in the form of two initiatives:

The first is the sudden Dept of Fair Trading ‘Building Stronger Foundations’ paper which addresses the Shergold-Weir report of February 2018 and provides a submission portal see:

https://www.nsw.gov.au/improving-nsw/have-your-say/building-stronger-foundations/
and
https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/consultation-tool/building-stronger-foundations

The second is the NSW Legislative Council Accountability Committee inquiry see:

https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/committees/inquiries/Pages/inquiry-details.aspx?pk=2540#tab-otherdocuments

These are long awaited responses and now the public and industry and others have been given only a month since late June to respond. The media campaign by both the Department of Fair Trading and the NSW State Government have been totally inadequate to gain the necessary reach for a life threatening issue that is close to the heart of all Australians. After all, everyone has a loved one who lives in an apartment somewhere who may not be sleeping well over this.

The second initiative was only media released on the 4th July 2019 and the portal released on the 10th July.

Call to Action

This petition seeks an extension of time to allow for a three month minimum submission process to allow for adequate public and industry response. Extend the date from the current 24 July 2019 to 30 September 2019.

Dr Jonathan Drane

Building Defects: An Engineer’s View

Five years ago I was asked by Engineers Australia to contribute to the Lambert Report (2015) and for my article Building Defects: A builder’s view to be included on the Building Professionals Board web site back then. I am not the only one to keep waiting for some government action on this vital area which is appearing on the news daily now with the recent Opal Tower and Mascot Towers incidents.

This article adds an Engineers Australia multi-disciplinary report in 2013 to the list and I am grateful to Charles Rickard for his article The Fall and Fall of the Australian  Building Industry (26 April 2019)  which  is reviewed here and brings this report to life.

My interest is in creating a chronicle and research base on this subject and ultimately for anyone to understand the complexity and decay of the Property Development, Design and Construction system and structures in the post war era. My group initiative The Property Development Doctor and The Defects Dilemma collects experts from all parts of the industry and seeks to bring peace of mind to multi-apartment owners who could be forgiven for assuming their home is at risk of fire or dangerous cracking.

The defects article I wrote in 2015, was requested to be written for the Strata and Community Title in Australia for the 21st Century 2015 Conference by Dr Hazel Easthope of City Futures Research Centre UNSW Built Environment. The request was to simply write an article on building defects from the point of view of the builder.  This sounded simple but was no easy task. The request unleashed 35 years of historical involvement, observation and doctoral research (2011-2014) of the decay in industry practices since the early 1950s across my involvement in construction, design management, project management, development management then property finance and development.

I was then asked to do a follow up presentation at the Building Regulatory Summit in February 2018 which was run expertly by the Building Products Innovation Council in the ACT. See blog for more details.

Here I turn Charles’ article into a symbiotic title:

Building Defects: An Engineers View 

In this article Charles Rickard  (Principal- Rickard Engineers)  provides a current  review of the building defects issue but also a really helpful historic view of the eras of professional control from the Architect being in full control ( a long time ago) to the current situation.

It also helps to understand the role Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) and the Accredited Certifiers (AC) that support the PCA for those who are trying to make sense of the certification labyrinthe.

Of particular interest is the depiction of a Multi-disciplinary report 2012-3 initiative by Engineers Australia led by Charles which preceded and supported the Lambert Report.

I am keen to keep a chronology of these reports, industry phases and current situation to maintain not only a current view but the history of decay of property development, design and construction systems and structures over time.

I look forward to seeing the 2013 MDC report which is a missing link in my current collection. This aside it is exasperating but sadly not surprising that yet another report by highly regarded experts ends up on the pile with no apparent dissemination or formal response by the State Government. The NSW State Premier, Gladys Berejiklian appeared on the ABC  7.30 report (18 June 2019)  recently noting there would be a response by December 2019.

The other reports include:

Wallace (2014) Lambert (2015), BPIC (2018) and Shergold-Weir (2018) which have investigated the building regulatory system.

Dr Jonathan Drane

Related Articles:

Building Defects: A Builders View

Defects: A Builder’s View- by Dr Jonathan Drane

Dr Drane Reveals the History of Decay in Property Development Processes Leading to Defects and Tragedies

Dr Drane’s ‘Defects Dilemma Initiative’ Gets Ministerial and Departmental Recognition

 

Dr Drane’s ‘Defects Dilemma Initiative’ Gets Ministerial and Departmental Recognition

The ‘Defects Dilemma Initiative’ which helps bring peace of mind to high rise apartment owners due to fear of dangerous defects, today obtained a formal positive Ministerial level response and Departmental Recognition from the Department of Finance Services & Innovation Department dated 3 April 2019.

The endorsement was issued in a letter by Mr John Tansey, Executive Director, Regulatory Policy 
Better Regulation Division. John is also a Board Member of the Building Professional’s Board.

The letter was in response to Dr Drane’s written submission to the Minister for Innovation and Building Regulation, Matt Kean after the Minister’s release of an announcement on 11 February 2019 titled ‘Biggest Overhaul of Building Laws in NSW History’.

The overhaul includes the creation of a Building Commissioner and was in response to the Shergold-Weir Report commissioned by the Building Minister’s Forum in August 2017.

There have also been other major  reports by Wallace (2014) Lambert (2015), BPIC (2018) and Shergold-Weir (2018) which have investigated the building regulatory system.

I guess these thing take time, but there is much to be done still.

Dr Drane’s initiative includes a Research Project  based on an initial free ‘Defects Assessment Model’, which supports a  Consumer Education Focus as well as an  Industry Action Group called The Property Development Doctor . The initiative is outlined in his campaign article published on 20 March 2019  titled ‘Help Give High Rise Apartment Owners Peace of Mind  from Defective Buildings‘ dated 20 March 2019.

Dr Drane is recognised for his comprehensive multi-layer understanding of the processes and structures of property development and construction with an emphasis on the decay of professional practices and systems over history, which have led to the devastating level of dangerous defects in the high rise multi-apartment sector.

Dr Jonathan Drane

How Can You Support the Defects Dilemma Initiative ?

Apartment owners are able to lobby their body corporate committee and building manager to participate for free in our initial assessment process which includes an initial survey.

Participate for Free in our free building defects analysis which includes a free assessment and a quick survey.

Register  for a place at our upcoming webinar series  which provides updates and industry engagement related to the ‘The Defects Dilemma’

Learn More about how the historical decay in property development and building systems have contributed to the level of defects in high rise apartment buildings.

Learn More about our Linked In Group called ‘The Property Development Doctor’ which is dedicated to bringing peace of mind to multi-storey apartment owners. Please join.

Defects: A Builder’s View- by Dr Jonathan Drane

This paper gives a plain English history lesson on how the property development and construction processes have decayed over the past 6 decades. It was originally presented at the Strata and Community Title in Australia for the 21st Century 2015 Conference at the request of City Futures Research Centre’s Hazel Easthope .

It was then posted on the Building Professional’s Board web site at the back end of the Lambert Report of 2015. I hope it helps people understand the longevity of decay and that it is a labyrinthine system and really a mess.

As I re-read the major reports by Wallace ( 2014) Lambert (2015), BPIC (2018) and Shergold (2018) I see the challenges they often faced as independent parties to understanding the complexity and even the language and dialects that existed across professional, planning, legislative and accreditation participants.

Link to paper:

Defects A Builders View By Dr Jonathan Drane

 

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