Opal Tower evacuees plan to fight back

The NSW premier is “wholeheartedly” encouraging residents of Sydney’s cracked Opal Tower to explore their legal options as some consider a class action against whoever’s responsible for the building’s faults.

The Sydney Olympic Park tower was evacuated on Christmas Eve after cracks were found in the structure with residents still shut out of their apartments while an investigation continues.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Friday said those found responsible for the debacle should be held accountable.

“Absolutely, I think residents should exercise every right, every legal opportunity they have, I would if I was in their shoes,” the Liberal leader told reporters.

Shine Lawyers class-action specialist Jan Saddler says the firm has held talks with some residents who are anxious about the state of their investment.

“It would, at a very high level at least, look like there would be grounds or the basis for bringing a class action in this particular case subject of course to what is discovered,” Ms Saddler told AAP on Friday.

“Overwhelmingly the concern and feeling is one of fear, uncertainty, then you get into those people who are very angry and frustrated.”

Ms Saddler said the law firm was awaiting the outcome of both a government inquiry into the tower problems and a review commissioned by the developer before taking further action.

People have voiced their frustration on a Facebook group for Opal Tower residents and owners over the lack of information being provided.

“We still don’t have an answer to the main question about the reason of those concrete panels failures,” one person wrote in the group.

Another stated: “We thankfully do not own our apartment but I feel for people who do with this situation and can imagine how many questions people have.”

Ms Berejiklian said while she empathised with tower residents financial aid for those affected was not a matter for government.

It comes as the government received an interim briefing from Professors Hoffman and Carter, and Professor Stephen Foster from the School Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New South Wales, on their investigation into Opal Tower.

However, the experts say they are not able to give any precise details on what caused the problems at this stage.

“While we acknowledge the significant disruption to the residents of the Opal Tower, we are still waiting for some key information that we require to complete our investigations,” Professors Hoffman and Carter said in a joint statement.

“We should have this information by today and expect that this will allow us to develop a better understanding of the cause of the problem.

“Until we have this we are not in a position to comment on or address any proposed rectification plans.

“We can say from our initial assessment there is no evidence of any issues with the foundations of the building, though we believe that there are a number of design and construction issues that require further investigation.

“We are now able to focus our attention on these key areas to determine what has caused the issues. We have also met with the engineers working on these matters and those who are working on the rectification proposals.

“We hope to be in a position to make a further statement by the end of next week.”

Source link Finance News Australia

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