The large yellow cladding on the side of the 19-storey Distillery apartment tower in Pyrmont has made it one of the most recognisable residential high rises in the inner Sydney suburb.
Yet the flammable nature of the cladding has also made it an expensive problem for its owners, who are finally nearing the end of a three-year saga to remove it that has cost them more than $3 million.
With thousands of apartment owners across Sydney facing a similar predicament, owners of the Distillery tower say the NSW government needs to help pay for the expensive work removing cladding that only a few years ago complied with regulations.
"They should be helping pay the poor old apartment owners overcome a problem created by lax rules," said Colin Knowles, the building's former strata committee chairman and retired engineer.
Owners Corporation Network, a not-for-profit body representing apartment owners, said the federal government's $25,000 Homebuilder grants would have been better spent fixing apartment buildings cloaked in flammable cladding which posed a risk to lives. "Once again, strata owners have been left to fend for themselves," executive officer Karen Stiles said.
The Victorian government is spending $600 million to fix dangerous cladding on buildings, and last month announced plans to accelerate the work to create more jobs.