Opal Tower fiasco raises opportunity to review everything

There are so many things potentially wrong with this fiasco to go into here in our lazy, hazy, crazy January issue but it does remind you of how more sophisticated and classy it sounds to call it a block of apartments than what it used to be called in the past, a block of “flats”.

Better to leave it to experts and there are few more expert than these two. First, the former local government reporter of the Sydney Morning Herald Harvey Grennan, who made a welcome return to the SMH on 28 December. We loved Harvey and we are delighted he took a break from the frustration of dealing with Central Coast to provide a clear and erudite analysis headed Sydney’s dodgy buildings due to 17 years of inaction.” We love your work, Harvey.

And second, SMH journalist and ex-Sydney City councillor Elizabeth Farrelly in the SMH 5-6 January, under the heading Opal: a planning failure not just a transport card”. Always a highlight of the weekend, and the guarantee of learning a new word or two, a fabulous probing and critical mind and a beautiful writer. Anyone who described private certification introduced by Craig Knowles and the NSW Labor Government 20 years ago as “a small measure of stupendous idiocy” bringing  the “inherent and unavoidable conflict between public duty and private money”, sounds like one of us.

Watching all of those involved in building, construction and development running for cover as this gets investigated, and calling them out, will provide us with a very entertaining 2019.

And just for good measure, and also to do the right thing by Gordo/LGEA/APESMA for their current campaign, Elizabeth last weekend dealt beautifully with the related issue of Welcome to the Faulty Towers state, where any mug’s an engineer.

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