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ACT gov’t steps in to fix unsound building after developer refuses to address structural issues

ACT gov’t steps in to fix unsound building after developer refuses to address structural issues

An apartment complex in Kingston is not structurally sound and is at risk of collapsing. The company that built the structure, however, has refused requests from the Australia Capital Territory government to address the issue. Per ABC, the Morrison Construction Corporation (MCC) ironically claims that the proposed emergency work on the building will cause damage and make it unsafe for residents.

Therefore, the ACT government has been forced to take up the job itself, hiring an independent contractor to make the necessary repairs, which includes installation of more than 230 props.

A few weeks ago, residents of the Kingston Place apartments were informed that what’s known as a “punching shear” in its basement threatened the stability of their homes. The term punching shear describes extreme pressure on concrete columns that may not be able to withstand the weight, with the potential outcome of the columns crumbling.

MCC was issued an emergency order to install more props; the corporation’s effort to have to the order overturned in the ACT Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal were unsuccessful.

After announcing that it would not comply with the government order, MCC stated:

“The safety of the public and those who live and work in its developments is Morris’s utmost priority. On the basis of expert advice it has received, MCC is not willing to perform the works specified under the [emergency rectification order] at this stage.”

MCC is now liable to owe as much as $1.62 million to the ACT, with the government now forced to pay for the maintenance. MCC director Barry Morris said he will work to settle the financial dispute while reiterating his opposition to the additional props on the grounds that it is dangerous to install them.

“We cannot in good faith perform rectification works to a build when we have been independently advised that doing so may cause further damage to it,” he aid, according to ABC. “Further investigation is needed to ensure that any works required — if any — are performed safely.”

Governments are notorious for serving corporate interests above all else. On the rare occasion that a government holds a corporation’s feet to the fire, you can be sure there’s a valid reason for it. MCC doesn’t care about residents of its apartment blocks; only its bottom line.

About John Christie

I read and write about (mostly Australian) business, politics, culture and the like. In other words, whatever happens to catch my fancy at a given moment. George Orwell wrote a column called "As I Please," in which he scribbled about whatever was on his mind. Think of me like that--only, you know, without the literary brilliance.