Documents hold key to Mascot crack crisis
A Sydney council has retrieved documents relating to the evacuated Mascot Towers that could help pinpoint the cause of the building's issues.
Bayside Mayor Bill Saravinovski, who previously defended the time taken to get the paperwork, yesterday said the last of the documents sought by the building's engineers had been retrieved.
Engineers had requested documents dating back to 2004, including detailed structural plans for Mascot Towers and geotechnical and hydraulic reports.
The information may help them pinpoint the cause of the 10-year-old building's issues - cracking in its primary support structure and facade masonry - which sparked the evacuation on June 14.
Since then, residents of the building's 132 units have been forced to stay elsewhere, with costs adding up as authorities scramble to determine who is at fault.
Geotechnical engineers are this week assessing the site, an update sent to owners and residents said on Tuesday.
Owners will be further updated by the owners' corporation's engineer at a meeting later this week.
Yesterday, the developer of a neighbouring building again rejected speculation linking their recently completed project with Mascot Towers' problems.
Aland Developments said it had engineers undertake a dilapidation report of surrounding buildings, including Mascot Towers, before the construction of Peak Towers.
"This report documents the state of the Mascot Towers building prior to the construction of Peak Towers and clearly confirms there was pre-existing damage to the building," managing director Andrew Hrsto said in a statement.
"Aland is confident the inquiry underway will demonstrate conclusively that the structural issues with Mascot Towers are unrelated to construction of Peak Towers and, in fact, predated the commencement of construction by several years."
Engineers spent almost two weeks waiting for council documents, which could help pinpoint the cause of issues plaguing Mascot Towers.
The wait was described as "frustrating", but the Bayside mayor insisted there was no cover-up and strongly denied allegations the council was withholding paperwork.
STATE TO OVERHAUL CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
Plans to overhaul the building and construction industry in NSW have advanced, with the State Government releasing a discussion paper on the proposed reforms.
Announced in February after the Opal Tower incident, the proposals follow a 2018 report commissioned by the Building Ministers' Forum that outlined significant issues facing Australia's construction industry.
The Building Stronger Foundations paper, released yesterday, comes as Sydney's evacuated Mascot Towers building continues to be monitored.
"Given the recent incidents relating to building defects in high rise residential buildings, the NSW Government is committed to implementing the reforms as a priority," the paper says.
Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said residents deserved to feel "safe and secure within their walls".
"Future occupants of buildings deserve to know that they are buying a quality design and expert construction that is protected by strong and modernised building laws," Mr Anderson says in the paper.
"They also deserve to have an avenue of recourse in the event of a defect during a building's life."
The planned reforms include requiring building practitioners who provide designs, specifications or plans to declare they comply with the Building Code of Australia and requiring builders to declare the building was constructed according to those plans.
The State Government also intends to amend laws to ensure an industry-wide "duty of care" to homeowners, owners' corporations, subsequent titleholders and small businesses.
"It is envisaged that owners should have clear rights to pursue compensation where a building practitioner has been negligent and it cannot be absolved through purchasing contracts," the paper says.
The Government has committed to appointing a building commissioner.
The paper reiterates the Government's intention to develop and table legislation in parliament by the end of the year. However, it's unclear when the reforms will actually be passed.
Feedback on the paper is being invited from the community and industry until July 23.