The Commonwealth and all state governments have known about the widespread construction of defective multi-storey residential buildings for many years. That building ministers from all states are going to cooperate and coordinate reform is welcome, but a mere beginning to a complex process.
The full extent of the problems is seriously misunderstood, and the looming economic and social crisis has not been recognised.
The fundamental issue is the extensive construction of multi-storey apartment buildings by some developers who, for the sake of profit, have included seriously inadequate fire safety and water-proofing, among other deficiencies.
The broader construction industry is capable of quality and compliant construction, even under the current regulatory controls. Multi-storey commercial buildings, shopping centres, hospitals and schools are generally not leaking, at risk of fire, or uninhabitable.
Those who wish to or, by law, are obliged to build correctly, are able to do so. Among these are reputable strata unit developers. There have, however, been a disturbing number of apartment developers who have taken an approach to their legal obligations which in some countries would be regarded as a crime.
The offending developers have been aided in their misconduct by the delusional process of private certification and, more importantly, by the abandonment by state governments of the responsibility to impose upon strata unit developers an obligation to comply with building regulations.