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STATEMENT REGARDING OPAL TOWER

Friday, 04 January 2019

On Thursday 3 January, representatives of the NSW Government received an interim briefing from Professors Hoffman and Carter, and Professor Stephen Foster from the School Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New South Wales, on their investigation into Opal Tower.

The Professors emphasized that all parties involved have been fully cooperating with their investigation, with all parties focused on identifying what has taken place and what is the most effective way to fix the problems.

As the investigation is ongoing there is limited ability to comment at this stage, but given most residents have now been out of their building for almost 10 days, the Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts and the Professors wanted to provide a short update.

Statement from Professors Hoffman and Carter:

“While we acknowledge the significant disruption to the residents of the Opal Tower, we are still waiting for some key information that we require to complete our investigations. We should have this information by today and expect that this will allow us to develop a better understanding of the cause of the problem.

“Until we have this we are not in a position to comment on or address any proposed rectification plans.  

“We can say from our initial assessment there is no evidence of any issues with the foundations of the building, though we believe that there are a number of design and construction issues that require further investigation.

“We are now able to focus our attention on these key areas to determine what has caused the issues. We have also met with the engineers working on these matters and those who are working on the rectification proposals.

“We hope to be in a position to make a further statement by the end of next week.”

The NSW Government is pleased to see that the safety and security of the residents of the building is priority and that a number of engineering and specialist firms have been engaged to work on these matters and another engineering firm has been engaged to peer review core elements of this work.

The Government supports the decision of the owners’ corporation to have their own engineering advisers to ensure that their interest are being protected

Mr Roberts met with representatives of the owner’s corporation this morning. The Chair of the Opal Tower owners’ corporation has advised that they fully support the Government’s investigation of this matter.

While any decision to reoccupy the building is one for the owners, residents and the builder, Mr Roberts believes that any discussions on reoccupying the building should wait for the independent investigation’s initial report.

The Government is also not in a position to comment on the proposed rectification works until it receives further advice from the independent experts.

Media: Norm Lipson 0429 081