Dodgy apartment developers targeted by NSW construction watchdog

NSW’s building commission cracks down on dodgy developers after a Sydney apartment complex was issued an order to correct “serious damage”.

Jarrod Brown
By Jarrod Brown
4 Min Read

NSW’s building commission has set its sights on dodgy developers after a Sydney apartment complex was issued an order to correct “serious damage”.

Last week, Building Commission NSW issued a Building Work Rectification Order (BWRO) to developer Greenland Australia over the Lachlan’s Line building at 23 Halifax St, Macquarie Park.

The order identified “serious damage” and deterioration in the concrete slabs at locations between the basement and ground floor, which could “cause the basement slab to fail, and threaten the long-term stability of the building”.

But the building commission says there is no danger to the residents of that building.

“The order, issued on the 15 January 2024 to the 23 Halifax Street developer, relates to the long-term durability of the basement levels of the building, not to any units within the complex. The issue is not structural,” it said in a statement.

NSW’s Building Commissioner David Chandler later issued a broader warning to any developer who cuts corners or attempts to shift the blame onto certifiers, builders, designers and engineers.

“The Building Commission NSW is working hard to rebuild trust and capability in the construction sector,” he said.

“Either build it right or there will be consequences.”

Mr Chandler said he was “confident” the developers would see the defects fixed and reassured reporters Greenland would be the one footing the bill. 

“You can count on it, they will be,” he said.

“I want the public to understand there’s no imminent risk to this building or the safety of the people in it,” he added.

Rebuilding trust brick-by-brick

Following the announcement, NSW Acting Building Minister Paul Scully urged owners to work with the NSW Building Commissioner on rectifying the building and said concerns over long-term durability were “completely fixable”.

“This is an example of the Building Commissioner doing exactly what we set it up to do,” Mr Scully said.

“There’s no doubt there’s been some confidence issues creep into some of the builds … the Building Commissioner is doing the good work that we expected him to do.”

In response to the damning findings, developer Greenland says it has been fully cooperating with the commission.

“Recommendations were made by the external engineering consultants to undertake localised repairs, to ensure the long-term durability and structural integrity of the building’s concrete slabs and joints as identified in the draft order,” the statement read.

“Their initial investigations have identified the BWRO issues are localised in the lower car park levels only and that there is no risk of collapse of the building’s towers.

“There is no serious damage or serious structural defects at the project, as some media outlets have claimed.

“Greenland, via the project’s building manager and strata managers, has contacted all residential owners and tenants at the project. It can confirm that no evacuations at the project are required.”

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Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.