The NSW Building Commissioner signalled all the developers that he will not hesitate to use his strongest powers to kick out the flawed work in the construction industry.
Almost eight months after his powers were given, David Chandler has issued prohibition orders to developers of four buildings in Forster and Sydney. They were stopped from acquiring occupation certificates until the defects have been fixed.
Halt Work Orders in Stratfield and Forster
After serious structural damage, a stop-work order has been placed on 319 Liverpool Road in Stratfield.
They also included The Cove, a 10-storey apartment building at Forster, which had defects in waterproofing and external cladding. The townhouses at 12 Beaconsfield Parade in Lindfield were not exempted because of defects related to wall and bathroom tiles and waterproofing.
Those orders came after the commissioner ordered an immediate halt to work by O and E Developments on a six-storey apartment project at 319 Liverpool Road in Strathfield late last January due to severe structural defects.
According to Mr. Chandler, the Stratfield project was one of the worst building works he had seen. He didn’t think twice about issuing a stop-work order on the building.
Further, he said that they’re really serious. They want consumers to understand that he’s the dog in the fight. He will be out there every single day to ensure they’re getting what they paid for. They need to get consumers back into the market.
Among his strongest powers are the prohibition orders. This is because they prevent developers or builders from settling apartments until defects are fixed
He can’t think of any reasons why consumers should be stuck with cost-shifting by a builder or a developer who just wanted to cut corners. Some of them didn’t do it intentionally – they were just ignorant. But ignorance wasn’t a defence.
Mr. Chandler added that the immediate effect of the increased number of orders was that people were starting to pay attention. He signalled more notices would be handed out in the coming weeks.
Karen Stiles, Owners Corporation Network’s executive officer, said the prohibition would save innocent owners years of physical, emotional, and financial stress attempting to have defects fixed after the event. These orders are only made when an audit identifies severe construction issues and requires them to be addressed before the apartments can be sold.
They are a very wise solution to a wicked problem for owners and the broader community bearing the cost of endless litigation.
From O and E Developments, Omar Abdul Rahman said he would do what the commissioner wanted to fix his Strathfield project. He said he was doing exactly what the commissioner wants, whatever they recommend, he will do.
The building commissioner’s team has been paying close attention to small developers who fly below the radar and others who have had safety incidents on projects.