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Owners of units in Sydney’s troubled Opal Tower are suing the NSW government for compensation, the Premier has this morning confirmed.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she doesn’t “blame anybody” for taking legal action after a building flaw resulting in a large crack saw residents of the tower evacuated on Christmas Eve last year.
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"This is an unfortunate set of circumstances. We inherited the system we have today and we're aiming to fix it by the end of the year through legislation,” she said.
Law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth lodged the lawsuit against the Sydney Olympic Park Authority, a government body which owns the land on which the Opal Tower was built.
Residents of other towers also suffering
The legal action follows another mass evacuation of Mascot Towers, and another building forcefully abandoned in late July.
Mascot Towers residents also received a document from strata management company confirming that they would need to pay a special levy of $1.1 million by 1 August, due to the evacuation.
According to research by Deakin University, 97 per cent of new high-rise apartment buildings in NSW have some form of defect.
It’s something the executive officer of the Owners Corporation Network, Karen Stiles has described as a “quiet haemorrhaging”.
Berejiklian today said the government will soon announce a new building commissioner to address the challenged industry.
"(The commissioner) will ensure moving forward that everybody in the industry not only is aware of their responsibilities but delivers on those responsibilities to the nth degree," she said.
Australian state leaders earlier this month agreed to work with the federal government to pursue a set of national building standards, although the federal government said it would not be offering financial assistance to evacuated residents hit with huge repair bills.
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