Press Release

EMBARGOED UNTIL July 30, 2019 12:00 PM

VITAL MEETING WITH NSW GOVERNMENT TOMORROW. INDUSTRY RELEASES SEVEN POINT PLAN

VITAL MEETING WITH NSW GOVERNMENT TOMORROW. INDUSTRY RELEASES SEVEN POINT PLAN

HUNT DOWN THE BUILDERS WHO HAVE CAUSED ‘DOGS BREAKFAST’ BUILDING PROBLEMS IN NSW

GOVERNMENT URGED TO LEGISLATE TO MAKE THOSE RESPONSIBLE PAY FOR BILLION DOLLAR CONSTRUCTION DISASTER

FLAMMABLE CLADDING MUST BE FUNDED FOR THOUSANDS OF NSW RESIDENTS FACING RUIN

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The peak body representing 1.2 million strata title residents and stakeholders in New South Wales will present a seven point plan to the NSW Government tomorrow (Wednesday) to fix the “dogs breakfast” in construction standards and flammable cladding that threatens financial hardship and ruin for thousands of unit and apartment owners in the State.

At the same time, the NSW Government will be warned that it is inviting a multibillion-dollar class action lawsuit – likely to be the State’s largest -- against it if it doesn’t provide a solution.

Residents of the Opal Towers apartment in Sydney have reportedly filed a lawsuit against the NSW Government which could open the legal floodgates unless the problems are addressed.

Strata Community Association NSW President, Chris Duggan, wants the NSW Government to legislate to seek compensation from builders who have created the problem.

He warns that tens of thousands of strata residents in NSW face financial ruin or hardship in fixing the problems left by shoddy builders and the flammable cladding crisis.

Mr Duggan will meet with NSW Better Regulation and Innovation Minister, Kevin Anderson, in Sydney tomorrow (Wednesday) and is warning the NSW Government that strata residents will campaign right up until the next NSW election if the NSW Government doesn’t match Victoria’s $600million flammable cladding remediation plan.

“The NSW Government has reaped billions of dollars from the State property market in taxes and charges and it is time to put something back,” Mr Duggan said. “They have to take responsibility.”

Mr Duggan said the reported decision by Opal Towers owners to press ahead with legal action against the NSW Government was in addition to a class action on flammable cladding, filed in the Federal Court earlier this year by litigation funder, IMF Bentham.

“If no solution can be found, I believe NSW will face potentially the largest class action the State has ever seen. Thousands of people in NSW have been caught up in this mess through no fault of their own.”

The SCA has also released a submission it has made to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Building Standards. (attached).

The framework of the seven-point plan to be presented to Minister Anderson tomorrow is:

    1. Reintroduction of a robust and accessible Homeowners’ Warranty Insurance scheme for all levels of strata development, removing the current four-story exclusion.
    2. Increasing the two-year statutory warranty period to at least three years.
    3. Along the lines of the precedent now established in Victoria, provide an assistance package for cladding and structurally affected schemes. This may include a combination of subsidised loans, rate/taxation relief on insurance products and other financial assistance.
    4. Legislate within the regulatory framework for builders, developers, designers, and certifiers a clear duty of care to owners and owners’ corporations
    5. Legislate a statutory chain of responsibility through the entire design and construction cycle
    6. Introduce mandatory supervision of private certification
    7. Introduce a record of occupation certificates accessible to owners’ corporations that is separate from the Office of Fair Trading. This will avoid any conflict of interest with its regulatory functions and enforcement of compliance, licensing and administration of home building compensation fund.

Mr Duggan said he feared that it was only a matter of time before a Grenfell style fire that took over 70 lives in London two years ago, took hold in NSW, with over 1,500 apartment buildings now caught up in the flammable cladding mess. The British Government has agreed to a $400m payout to help fix the problem in the UK.

SCA believes the actual number of strata buildings with flammable cladding is closer to 2,000 in NSW but an accurate number has not been settled because some local authorities are refusing to provide detailed information on the issue.

“We hope Mr Anderson will take very seriously our concerns and get an action plan underway by the NSW Government that incorporates the seven points we have raised.”

About

Strata Community Association (NSW) is the peak industry body for Strata and Community Title Management in New South Wales. Membership includes strata managers, support staff, committee members and suppliers of products and services to the industry. SCA (NSW) has in excess of 3,000 members who help oversee, advise or manage a combined property portfolio with an estimated replacement value of over $400 Billion. SCA (NSW) proudly fulfils the dual roles of a professional institute and consumer advocate.
Website: www.nsw.stratacommunity.org.au

(ENDS)

Contact Details

Chris Duggan
President
Strata Community Association (NSW)
0437 973 183
Chris.Duggan@bright-duggan.com.au

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