Australia needs a royal commission into high-rise ‘death towers’

MB’s call for a royal commission into Australian construction standards and practices has received support from Martin North, John Adams and Edwin Almeida, who discussed the issue in detail last night.

Interestingly, Edwin Almeida claims that there are also widespread problems with low-rise construction, and points the figure at all levels of government. He also notes that the problems with high-rise extends beyond cracking and flammable cladding to water penetration, poor ventilation and mould.

Given how many high-rise has been built over the past 15 years (see next chart), expect many more problems to surface over coming years.

This is a disaster in the making.

Leith van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

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  1. Gotta ask… Is something wrong with that dataset?

    NSW looks identical to VIC but offset by 9 years.

    That can’t be legit. It’s too perfect.

    • +1. Agree and well spotted. Vic is a perfect copy of NSW shifted 8 or 9 years. UE please have another look at this data, it is too perfect for easy belief.

  2. “..expect many more problems to surface over coming years.” – I am sure the more appropriate last word of that sentence should read – months. And if it is not for corrupted MSM it will be daily news. But MSM only reports when buildings are about to collapse and people are evacuated.

  3. and everyone stop splitting hairs around the datasets – main points still hold:
    Lot of Dodgy Developers
    Almost 100% dodgy builders
    Corrupted Governments – Fed, State and Local
    Too many aspirational millionaires who want to get a head.
    Did I miss anything?

  4. proofreadersMEMBER

    But, but – dismantling these death towers unit by unit and dumping them elsewhere could provide the launch platform for Minister Andrews’ “tiny houses” initiative?

  5. The headline is incorrect.
    Should be ” Australia is full of high rise Death AND Debt traps.”

  6. This will get swept under the rug just like the flammable cladding has. This country is done, stick a fork in it.

  7. Construction standards in many Asian cities (not really Hong Kong and Singapore) are based on the reality that many buildings will not last more than 30 years – so they are not built to last more than 30 years. Some won’t make 20 years due to poor materials and bad construction. Hence, there is a constant churn of construction driven by real estate development. Cracks? Cracks are the normal and it doesn’t matter in most Asian cities.

    This is the opposite of the values that saw the building of dwellings and commercial structures in Australia from the late 19th century onwards. This architecture is often 150 years old and still highly valued.

    The cultural change brought to Australia in the guise of mass immigration to combat a faux ‘ageing crisis’ has much more to do with establishing a new finance and development ‘culture’ where investors get to play monopoly with our lives, security, health and social stability.

    Our standards in everything have been forced lower so that more profit can be made by a criminal cartel.

    Socially, environmentally and health wise this has been a slippery slope where our collective living standards have been degraded so the cartel profits massively.

    We have now the built slums of the 21st century and the only way to keep the Ponzi going is to import people from places where this is the normal.

    Rather than lifting people up when they immigrate to Australia, our corrupt politico-finance-developer axis has fed from such people like parasites. Such people will end up disproportionally in a ghetto of “million dollar” slums sold to them by politicians as a the front persons for the most devastating social and environmental policy yet devised in Australia – that looks only to the bottom line and short term profit.

    The brain dead Fake Greens clearly do not see the carbon footprint of a constant construction churn nor the energy wasted in pulling down city towers every 30 years. That’s because they abandoned “sustainability” for social justice. But how much social justice is there going to be in slums tied to people’s ankles with a massive mortgage?

    Government has turned against the people.

  8. mikef179MEMBER

    It’s no different to any industry which goes into a massive bubble really. Remember back in the dotcom bubble, when you had all those worthless companies that couldn’t produce anything decent? Or didn’t want to in many cases? This is just the housing equivalent.

  9. Property being “worthless” definitely goes against the msm driven spruik that’s all going to be ok post the election.

    Owners of units within Mascot Towers have had hundreds of thousands of dollars wiped off their property values virtually overnight. That’s according to MGM Properties principal real estate agent Michael Xylas, who has a one-bedroom unit in the troubled complex currently on the market for $740,000. But he told that property — and many others in the building — were now essentially worthless, at least in the short term.

    • The Australian taxpayers will foot the bill. And for all the explosively flammable cladding also. Just like what happened in the UK. Property developers operating in Australia have complete government protection to do whatever they like without any significant penalty or deterrents.

  10. Jumping jack flash

    Yes, another RC into one of the pillars of our economy, because that last one aimed at another pillar of our economy worked so well.

  11. The headline is sensationalist. Probably most people will be pulled out before the buildings collapse. No harm, no foul.