Brickworks MD “horrified” by flammable apartments

Brickworks MD, Lindsay Partridge, says he is “horrified” by poor-quality building products and sub-standard construction practices, and has called for greater regulation and tighter controls. From The AFR:

Mr Partridge said he had personally seen situations of poor building work and materials. “There was a couple of ones that have horrified me”… [and] has put home owners at ”serious risk”.

There needs to be much tighter controls and tougher regulations put in place, he said.

“There’s been an explosion of them in the past 10 years,” he said of the sub-standard building products that had entered the market from rivals.

Australia’s regulatory system had been failing, and there needed to be a much more robust approach with tougher on-site inspections…

“I think they could do with a bit more field experience,” he said of the building inspection regime.

I don’t want to take a shot at Lindsay Partridge, since Brickworks is not behind the sub-standard building products. However, it is always curious to hear industry representatives lambasting dodgy practices long after the horse has bolted.

Where were the warnings five years ago when the dodgy building bubble was running rampant?

The fact of the matter is that the building industry chose to use materials and construction processes that were inferior, and these passed inspection by dodgy (or incompetent) private building certifiers.

The industry turned a blind eye because it was making mouth-watering profits. It is only now that the chickens have come home to roost that they are playing Monday morning quarterback.

Meanwhile, expect the apartment bust to continue.

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.

Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)

Comments are hidden for Membership Subscribers only.