85% of new high-rise apartment towers defective

60 Minutes last night aired an explosive report on the widespread structural defects afflicting Australia’s high-rise construction towers.

Below is the blurb to the report:

Here’s an incredible, not to mention shameful, statistic about Australia’s building industry. 85% of new high-rise apartment towers are defective. The rate of shoddy workmanship has increased dramatically as governments around the country have encouraged more developers to build more high-density housing as a way of containing urban sprawl. As a result, many unsuspecting buyers, trying to put a roof over their heads, are learning a painful lesson: that the cost of cutting corners is very expensive.

This is Australia’s population ponzi economy in action, designed to enrich the property industry and other growth lobbyists at the expense of ordinary Australian’s amenity.

Leith van Onselen


  1. These are the dwellings that the ALP’s negative gearing policies were designed to encourage.

    • RobotSenseiMEMBER

      So the ones that were built with the policies taken to, and voted for at the last election, by the LNP?

      Careful what you wish for. You might get it.

    • Coupled with mass immigration of course: because stepping on the population accelerator creates a “market” for defective concrete dog boxes. With enough artificial demand, why not make them from cardboard? Because, if it’s a market then you don’t need to consider the exploitation and failure to regulate – i.e. “red tape” that gets between a drug lord and his clients.

    • same policies that LIBS had many opportunities to change and they did not. Matter of fact LIBS made them even worse.. remember red tape..

      • It beggars belief that ppl even argue the toss over the left and right. Pollies are all cut from the same cloth – they just choose different vehicles to get them into power. Half the Labor/Leftwing leaders don’t even really care for socialism or the welfare state – they just recognise that offering lots of free stuff is a vote winner (Tony Blair was a dyed-in-the-wool conservative but he saw that Labor’s time to lead had come).

        • Jumping jack flash

          This. LibLab are one and the same with slightly different flavourings.

          How could they be different? They both operate in the same political landscape that was crafted back in the late 90s. Now we have a conglomerate of privatised services and the “government” has limited jurisdiction for control.

    • Not just high rise, the semi posh he’ll hole…all fake glamour, I have been renting in albert Park, near the water, built 2007, really really bad. Roof downpipe opens on deck, taps fitted opposite…hot on right, sit sideways on toilet, water leak rotting corner of bedroom, etc, wardrobe 30 cm deep, almost zero kitchen storage not apparent until doors open. Had full mice plague, then serial sewrage volcanos due to sewrage blockage. Just vile. Trying to move out, found somewhere clean timber floor proper bathroom, sunny backyard, and real kitchen but covid blocked. I was a serial owner builder in Sydney, Council building inspectors and plumbing were so tight. In Melbourne no drain in bathroom floor,really bad building. sewage out bathroom shower into hallway bedroom and out door and downstairs. Owner did zero fo a week after telling agent he would take care of it. Had bullying by insurance asssessir, for owner and body corporate. They are ALL scum. Only safe way is to buy something built way back, properly. Built with good straight properly seasoned timber. Avoid cement mortar which leads to mould.

      • Hot tap on the right. I mean, WTAF? I have the same in my place. How the hell does that happen?

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        Why TF is there no drain in bathroom floors? Victoria has had the shoddiest building standards since Kennet privatized building certification. What fkn genius. Standards were bad 15 years ago, and have only got worse.

        • The double whammy of private building certification and limited documentation ‘design build’ or our local take ‘design and construct’ when added together kapow , some of the most dodgy no care no responsibility sh1t i have ever seen. These are a reflection of the greater race to the bottom in society, ill just do half a job and let someone else work it out. Which noone ever does as the gains are taken and the poor fkers left holding the bag on as its on fire.

          I started uni in the mid 90’s studying architecture , was fortunate enough in my younger years to be mentored by an old grey beard (me now lol) who passed down the application of knowledge. What we have now is absolute saturation of information that few understand how to process or think they can hot-wire the system to end goal without going through the necessary checks and balances of the thing.

          Further to that, roles which were previously undertaken by skilled experienced architects, are now being eroded by new made up roles, all requiring less education and more just limited frame of reference box checking. The building code used to be a pamphlet , it is now encyclopeadic, and,,,,, you have to feking pay for access to the relevant codes.

          My 2c solution.

          Remove private certification for high density residential.
          Fixed fees for Construction professionals. (ALA German)

    • Ahhh Jason. The man who can only see through his right eye, hear through his right ear and smell through his left nostril. His taste buds are different however. He only tastes bitterness.

      C’mon both side have delivered this disaster.

      Trying on the partisan angle is akin to bringing the dialogue into the sewer.

      • Ahhhh North. You’ve entirely missed the point. I was having a go at Leith (who spent years saying how good the ALP’s negative gearing policy was), not the ALP.

        For what it’s worth, I’ve voted Liberal once in my life.

        • Jason, My apologies. I mistook your handle for another MB member who meets the caricature I painted and I failed to grasp the direction of your comment. Cheers. North

  2. It’s everywhere there’s a buck to be made from property ‘investment’.

    After nearly four years, the repair work was finished in 2018. Now Running and about 50 other owners have secured litigation funding to sue building consultants Maynard Marks, claiming the project would have come in $20m cheaper if they had been advised to demolish and start again…..Maynard Mark’s original estimate for repairs in 2010 had been $8.3m, jumping to $41m plus GST.


    • It just seems counter-intuitive to some people, that in order to progress on a project that is beyond FUBAR, you need to knock it down and start again. I think these builders realise they can make more profit from continuing to do the same practices that got them into this mess in the beginning. Pity the poor stakeholders who pay for this inefficiency.

      • It’s like trying to implement a major organisational re-structure at a large firm — the ideal scenario would be to rip it all down and start again, however …. impossible given politics, fiefdoms, friendships, alliances etc.

        So you get a fudge instead

    • Australia’s richest man “High Rise” Harry Triguboff from Meriton donates liberally to both sides of Aussie politics.

      As a reward, he got permission to build rubbish and an Order of Australia.

  3. and the developers and builders will get off scott free leaving the taxpayer and unfortunate buyers to cop it. There needs to be legal accountability

    • Agreed personal liability, for all involved, developers, certifiers, engineers, builders, etc. Insurance will be expensive.

    • Real change will be driven by customers — but not until they wake TFU and understand they also have a degree of responsibility in this. Right now it’s like: “Oooh, Miele appliances – I’ll take it!”

      • Individual customers are powerless and real change can only be delivered by government.

        Lax building standards represent a fundamental failure of responsible government.

        Not surprising considering Australia is a weak, corrupt state with powerful vested interests pulling the strings.

        Victoria and NSW represent the worst examples at state level, but I doubt the others are all that different.

        • It beats me why anyone would put themselves in harm’s way – voluntarily. It’s no secret that modern buildings are compromised by lax standards

  4. SoCalSurfCreeperMEMBER

    How is this possible? Surely we have imported the worlds most highly trained, hardest working and most ethical workers to fill our skill shortages? I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you. My faith in our immigration program is shaken to the core.

  5. Display NameMEMBER

    Believe it when I see it. Be like Banking RC. The whole alleged building clean-up is probably hobbled behind the scenes already much like the Banking RC terms of reference and duration meant it was never meant to make any real changes. Just window dressing.

  6. Just like in past World Sporting events; Australia has punched well above its weight in The Race to the Bottom.

  7. Hahaha, this country needs to burn. Nothing else will clear the rot. Like Janet’s example above, sometimes it is just cheaper to bulldoze and start again.

  8. Arthur Schopenhauer

    Unfortunately, one of these structures either has to fall over, or burn to the ground with catastrophic fatalities before the powers that be pay any attention.

  9. All these buildings are constructed with financial deadlines and not ITP or QA compliance, add on top that the low bids which then get subbed out and re-subbed, then sprinkled with newly arrived labour force which is both ignorant of any work place standards and fearful their employer [usually same ethnic group boss man].

    This is a cram down from the top with the excuse that investors demand it, politicians are just pop up targets for distraction. Been going on decades across the Anglosphere and else where, its just been constantly ramping up. Most did not notice because the quantity of failures was at it early stage and late stage survival of the fittest had not arrived.

  10. All this talk of politicians cutting “Red Tape” makes me laugh. They talk like it’s the public service making the RT…Guess again.

    Red Tape comes from industry bodies which make money by making Read Tape.

    Australian Standards are a profit centre too. Many people make money by creating new standards and offering “Certification”.

    Fix that and solve the problem instantly…but the industry bodies are too powerful. Just ask RuddGillardRudd, it knows.