Building defects report author Bronwyn Weir wouldn't buy a newly built apartment

Building defects report author Bronwyn Weir wouldn't buy a newly built apartment
Building defects report author Bronwyn Weir wouldn't buy a newly built apartment

Bronwyn Weir, the co-author of a report on how to fix Australia's defect ridden building industry, has said she would not buy a newly built apartment.

"If I was going to be investing in an apartment, I'd buy an older one. It's common sense, isn't it? It's just logical," Bronwyn Weir told Four Corners.

"I wouldn't buy a newly built apartment. No."

Ms Weir, and the former senior public servant Peter Shergold, co-wrote the Building Confidence report commissioned by Australia's federal, state and territory building ministers.

The report was delivered in February last year.

It made 24 recommendations including a crackdown on private certification of buildings and registration of every person involved in the building process.

Finally at a meeting in July this year, the building ministers committed to implementing the reforms.

But Ms Weir told Four Corners that it would not fix the legacy of decades of inaction.

"Probably the prevalence of noncompliance has been particularly bad, I would say in the last say 15 to 20 years. It's gotten worse over that period. And that means there's a lot of existing building stock that has defects in it.

"[The new reforms] won't improve existing building stock unfortunately. So there'll be legacy issues for some time and I suspect there'll be legacy issues that we're not even fully aware of yet."

Ms Weir said for those looking to buy an apartment, it was more prudent to opt for a building "that maybe is, say, five years plus [of age]".

"You would like to think that if there are major issues with that building, they'll have started to show," she said.

"So I think if people are looking at investing, there are ways to do good due diligence. buying off the plan is a really tricky proposition at the moment."

But she hoped some better builders would give people assurances it was safe to buy "and try to salvage what has been a pretty damaging impact of these latest news stories".

Watch Sean Nicholls' investigation, Cracking Up, on Four Corners on iview.

 

Tags: 
New Apartments Building Defects

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