Sydney building hit by balcony safety scare


Residents of yet another Sydney apartment block have been rocked by alarming safety fears — this time allegedly involving their balconies.

According to a bombshell report by The New Daily, occupants of the Otto Rosebery complex in the NSW capital’s southeast have recently been issued “urgent” instructions.

In a safety letter seen by the publication, residents of the tower’s 298 units have been told not to lean on their balconies, allow children to play on them or to let more than three people on them at a time.

The warning comes after an investigation allegedly revealed the block’s balustrades were “structurally defective” and of “inadequate strength”.

And in another twist, the company behind the four-year-old complex is none other than Icon Co — the same embattled operation responsible for the Opal Tower debacle, which saw residents evacuated from the newly constructed building after serious cracks developed just before Christmas last year.

According to The New Daily, warning letters have since been stuck to Otto’s balcony doors, and a strata management note has told occupants “all possible precautions should be taken to avoid purposeful or accidental leaning”.

The publication claimed owners were considering legal action in the Supreme Court.

An Icon spokeswoman told news.com.au it was working with relevant parties to resolve the situation.

“The Otto Rosebery apartment complex has been fully certified by an independent engineer and witnessed by the Accredited Certifier as part of the occupation certification process,” the spokeswoman said.

“The approval included both the structure and the balustrade, with no safety issues identified.

“Icon is committed to working with all parties involved to ensure the ongoing integrity of the apartment complex and is currently working with the Owners Corporation to obtain access to the property so additional testing can be conducted.

“Icon is ready to commence the validation process as early as tomorrow to help resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

“All parties agree the safety of residents remains the number one priority. Icon and the Owners Corporation continue to work constructively on this matter.”

However, it is just the latest of a string of concerning issues plaguing Sydney apartment towers.

The Opal Tower scandal dominated headlines over the Christmas holidays and into the new year, and within months a new residential tower block defect had emerged, after Mascot Towers in inner Sydney was also evacuated over potentially devastating cracks.

In July, Melbourne’s Australia 108 complex was also hit by movement and cracking sounds, while scores of owners were prevented from moving into their brand new apartments in Erskineville in Sydney’s inner west as it was feared they may have been constructed on contaminated ground.

Earlier this year, Owners Corporation Network spokesman Stephen Goddard told news.com.au he believed those incidents could be just the tip of the iceberg, and warned more building defects were likely to emerge.

“This is yet another example of systemic failure in the building industry to deliver the building code in residential strata,” he told news.com.au in the wake of the latest situation.

“It is an unavoidable truth we suffer systemic failure, so this comes as no surprise.

“One was an event, two was extraordinary, three is a trend — and what do you call four? An unavoidable truth.”

A number of experts have called for a thorough investigation into Australia’s building industry, with Labor MP for Heffron Ron Hoenig and Starr Partners CEO Douglas Driscoll both calling for a potential royal commission.

In NSW, defective buildings are covered by warranty for just six years after a development has been completed.

However, as Otto Rosebery is only four years old, residents will likely have grounds to recoup any losses if faults are found.

Do you know more? Email alexis.carey@news.com.au



Source link Finance News Australia

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