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Thursday, 27 December 2018

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, has today appointed two Professors of Engineering to investigate what occurred at Opal Tower on Christmas Eve.

“Earlier this morning the Secretary of the Department of Planning and I confirmed the appointment of specialist investigators to lead an inquiry into the Opal Tower matter,” Mr Roberts said.

“Professors Mark Hoffman (Dean of Engineering at the University of New South Wales) and John Carter (Dean of Engineering at the University of Newcastle) have agreed to conduct an investigation into:

  • the basis of the failure, so we can understand what happened and why?
  • the immediate steps that need to occur to ensure the safety of this building for its occupants, and
  • make recommendations on what needs to happen going forward to avoid incidents like this in the future.

“The report will be made public when completed.

“While the investigators undertake their work, the priority is to  secure any displaced resident appropriate accommodation and support.”

“I’ve been in contact with the developer and the builder in the last 24 hours and have stressed to them my expectation that these residents are looked after.

“I’d also like to place on record my sincere thanks and congratulations to emergency service workers and the engineers from the Department of Public Works who attended the site over Christmas, their hard work and self-sacrifice during this holiday season is a credit to the State.”

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said support was on offer to renters through Fair Trading NSW.

“My Office has been in regular contact with Fair Trading and its experienced staff are standing by to provide advice to tenants,” Mr Kean said.

“Renters might not know that they don’t need to give notice to leave a property should their property be damaged and wholly or partly uninhabitable.

“If the investigation shows that to be the case, Fair Trading can talk through the issues and even contact a tenant’s agent or landlord, if disputes can’t be resolved.”

Media: John Macgowan 0409 403 773


Background Information


Professor Mark Hoffman


  • 2005 - MBA, University of New South Wales
  • 1994  - PhD, University of Sydney
  • 1989 - BE (Hons), University of Sydney


  • 2015 to present – Dean of Engineering, University of New South Wales
  • 2012 – 2015 – Pro-Vice Chancellor of Research, University of New South Wales
  • 2009 – 2012 – Associate Dean of Research, University of New South Wales
  • 2007 – 2012 – Head of School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales


Emeritus Professor John Carter


  • 2003 - DEng, University of Sydney
  • 1977  - PhD, University of Sydney
  • 1973 - BE (Hons I), University of Sydney



  • 2013 – Appointed an Emeritus Professor, University of Newcastle
  • 2006 - 2013 - Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, University of Newcastle.
  • 2003-2004 - Associate Dean for Research, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sydney.
  • 2002-2004 - Chair, Engineering and Environmental Sciences Expert Advisory Committee, Australian Research Council.
  • 2000-2002 - External Examiner, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Hong Kong.
  • 1999-2005 - Challis Professor in Civil Engineering, University of Sydney, Australia.
  • 1997-2005 - Senior Researcher and Leader of the Foundations Research Strand, ARC Special Research Centre for Offshore Foundations, University of Western Australia and University of Sydney.
  • 1995-1999 - Head, Department of Civil and Mining Engineering, University of Sydney, Australia.
  • 1990-1999 - Professor, School of Civil and Mining Engineering, University of Sydney, Australia (subsequently Department of Civil Engineering).

Professors Mark Hoffman