A Daley Labor Government will adopt all recommendations of the independent experts’ Opal Tower investigation report.
NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley has again called on Premier Berejiklian to help affected residents and unit owners whose Government has failed to step in and support.
This comes as the Berejiklian Government today failed to commit to all recommendations of the expert report.
Mr Daley has visited the Opal Tower and spoken with residents multiple times, including twice during the Christmas week when residents were first evacuated.
It was later revealed that the Berejiklian Government, through the Sydney Olympic Park Authority, signed a Project Development Agreement to develop the Opal Tower and is a co-developer of the building. It continues to own at least 10 per cent of units in the tower.
“I was saddened to hear firsthand how badly affected residents were and how neglected they felt.
“They are not alone. Many people around NSW are anxious about the state of NSW planning laws and the pace of overdevelopment under the Berejiklian Government.
"People - everyday people going about there business - simply do not count with this Government.
“A NSW Labor Government I lead will reform building and planning laws and restore confidence.”
Many residents are still living in and out of temporary accommodation nearly two months after they were first evacuated from Opal Tower on Christmas Eve 2018.
At least one resident has commenced proceeding at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), saying that they have been forced to pay rent for an Opal Tower apartment they cannot live in.
Daley Labor called on the Berejiklian Government to appoint a Major Incident Coordinator on 28 December to ensure residents were protected.
Premier Berejiklian has not adopted this policy and has not visited the site since residents were evacuated.
The Berejiklian Government has also refused to adopt half of the recommendations of the Lambert review into the Building Professionals Act.
Daley Labor has already committed to creating a registry of engineers, a policy which the Liberals and Nationals have since adopted and which the independent report recommends.
Labor will adopt all recommendations of the expert report which will now form part of its comprehensive Better Building reform package announced by Mr Daley in December.
Daley Labor will:
- Introduce a single piece of legislation, a standalone building act to strengthen regulations, improve consumer protections and transparency around people’s rights as well as raise professional standards
- Establish a single agency, the NSW Building Authority, reporting to a single Minister to increase and streamline accountability of every person in the construction chain
- Introduce chain of responsibility for everyone in the building process including for building products to permit product recalls, banning the use of non-conforming products, and empowering building inspections or audits
- Prevent developers from being able to choose their own certifier to eradicate potential conflict of interest that has arisen between certifiers who are over dependent on developers whose work they are signing off on
- Establish an engineer’s registration scheme
In addition, Daley Labor will adopt all recommendations of the independent report:
- Ensure independent third party certification of engineering designs
- Create a regime of critical stage, on-site inspections by an independent Registered Engineer
- Raise transparency through the creation of an open repository for all certifications
- Create of a Building Structure Review Board.
Mr Daley said that Labor had consulted widely in developing its Better Building policy which was also informed by the Lambert review and the Shergold and Weir review.