The NSW Building Commissioner has inspected the defect-riddled homes in The Waterfront development in Shell Cove and come away disappointed in Shellharbour City Council's flagship project.
In a site visit on Saturday, June 24, the Building Commissioner David Chandler headed south to the 300-home Shell Cove development where The Mercury has exposed major issues with waterproofing as well as ongoing faults in build quality.
In a post uploaded to LinkedIn, Mr Chandler said in selecting his Sunday Roast of three projects, "there is no joy in picking a winner".
At Shell Cove, Mr Chandler particularly called out the construction-site toilets - a common gripe for the powerful watchdog who has argued that poor working conditions are a symptom of the sector's inability to attract a diverse workforce.
"Clear evidence of the culture change challenge that our industry must face into, are the site toilets on offer by #RedbackSiteRentals and #CamdenHire at Shell Cove, if we are to have any chance of attracting tomorrow's modern construction workforce," he wrote.
"How can builders possibly be expect [sic] #TradeContractors to buy into their brand for quality construction when they are treated to site conditions that are simply third-world."
A spokesperson for the office of the NSW Building Commissioner said the Commissioner was unhappy with the state of the project.
"It is disappointing to observe the extent of remediation work on home building sites in the Shell Cove area, as well as the state of construction sites," the spokesperson said.
"Builders and developers in Shell Cove, as well as parts of South West Sydney, the Hunter and North Coast, are on notice to lift their standards."
A spokesperson for Frasers Property Australia, which is developing The Waterfront in a joint venture with Shellharbour council, said the company had briefed Mr Chandler's office.
"Frasers Property is in contact with the Office of NSW Building Commissioner regarding the detailed works program progressing at Shell Cove since early June.
"We have provided the Commissioner an overview on the issues, including resources dedicated to the program."
The company said it was continuing to assess properties and did not yet know when the remediation works would be completed.
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Initially formed in response to the Opal and Mascot towers scandals, after blazing a trail through the high rise construction sector, more recently Mr Chandler has turned his sights on detached and single occupancy dwellings.
In his Linkedin post, Mr Chandler said the issues faced by residents in Shell Cove indicated that rushed and non-compliant work was being done at ground level, just as at heights.
"In #ShellCove, housing constructed by #WaterfrontBuilding and #FairmontHomes showed exhibits of just how much work there is to do in the Class 1 buildings space when the NSW Building Commission powers are extended."
The NSW Labor government has committed to establishing a permanent Building Commission by the end of 2023, which will broaden the scope of the work already done by Mr Chandler.