Australia

Investigation finds 'design, construction issues' in Sydney Opal Tower as residents consider legal action

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Residents of Sydney's cracked Opal Tower have spoken to lawyers regarding a possible class action.

A number of design and construction issues have been confirmed in Sydney's cracked Opal Tower by an independent investigation into the building's faults.

An interim briefing by two engineering experts, commissioned by the state government, has identified a number of problems in the Sydney Olympic Park tower.

The tower was evacuated on Christmas Eve after cracks were found in the structure with residents still shut out of their apartments as investigations continue.

Residents being offered information at the Opal Tower at Sydney Olympic Park in Sydney.
Residents being offered information at the Opal Tower at Sydney Olympic Park in Sydney.
AAP

In a statement issued by the planning minister's office, Professors Mark Hoffman and John Carter on Friday said they had identified issues that would require further investigation.

The preliminary investigation found no evidence of any issues with the foundations of the building.

"We are now able to focus our attention on these key areas to determine what has caused the issues," the engineering experts said.

"We have also met with the engineers working on these matters and those who are working on the rectification proposals."

Earlier in the day the NSW premier "wholeheartedly" encouraged residents to explore their legal options as some consider a class action against whoever's responsible for the building's faults.

Gladys Berejiklian said those found responsible for the debacle should be held accountable.

"Absolutely, I think residents should exercise every right, every legal opportunity they have, I would if I was in their shoes," she told reporters.

Shine Lawyers national special counsel for class actions Jan Saddler said the firm had held talks with some residents, who were angry and anxious about their investment.

"Yes it would, at a very high level at least, look like there would be grounds or the basis for bringing a class action in this particular case subject of course to what is discovered," Ms Saddler told AAP on Friday.

"Overwhelmingly the concern and feeling is one of fear, uncertainty, then you get into those people who are very angry and frustrated."

Ms Saddler said the law firm was awaiting the outcome of both the government inquiry into the tower problems and a review commissioned by the developer before taking things further.

"We've spoken to residents, obviously everyone needs to see the outcome of the report," she said.

People have voiced their frustration on a Facebook group for Opal Tower residents and owners over the lack of information being provided to them.

Residents of Sydney's cracked Opal Tower are considering a possible class action.
Residents of Sydney's cracked Opal Tower are considering a possible class action.
The Guardian

"We still don't have an answer to the main question about the reason of those concrete panels failures," one person wrote in the group.

"We thankfully do not own our apartment but I feel for people who do own with this situation and can imagine how many questions people have," said another.

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New Year’s Eve bookings could force displaced Opal Tower residents to move again
New Year’s Eve bookings could force displaced Opal Tower residents to move again

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