We cover a lot of ground in this week’s podcast … and by “a lot of ground” we mean pretty much the whole planet.
First, we take a look a the recent 60 Minutes report which examined the progress being made by NSW building commissioner David Chandler in trying to make sure no one in the future suffers the same heart-breaking disasters as the residents of Mascot Tower.
It’s a surprisingly well put together report – commercial TV usually doesn’t do too well on complex issue like strata defects.
And it reveals a nasty piece of legal jiggery-pokery that seems to be geared towards nothing less than making sure the Mascot owners couldn’t claim against the people they believe are responsible for their current plight.
And what is that plight? If you haven’t been paying attention, last year the residents of Mascot Tower had to be evacuated when the building started to crack and literally started sinking into the ground.
It now looks like March next year before they can get back … if they can afford to pay the $53 million repair bill.
The 60 Minutes track also looks at the flammable cladding problem, especially in Melbourne, where two high rises have become notorious for their external cladding going up in flames across several floors.
In the podcast, Sue reveals that owners of a scheme in Sydney have just had a big win against developers who installed combustible cladding but said they weren’t liable as their Occupancy Certificate made it all OK. A Tribunal Appeals Board disagreed, as you can read in Sue’s story, here.
If you didn’t see it, the 60 Minutes track is well worth a look.
Moving on and, in our minds at least, far, far away, we talk to travel writer and podcaster Ben Groundwater about what travel will be like when the pandemic is over.
Prior to Covid-19, cheap flights and Airbnb led to some of the world’s most wonderful places being almost destroyed by having too many tourists.
Will this change when it’s finally safe to travel beyond these shores (and come back without having another enforced stay in a local hotel)?
And Ben talks about people who go to the same place every year and how you have to strike a balance between fully exploring places you love by returning to them, and broadening your horizons by going somewhere entirely new.
We suspect that there will be a short window between travel restrictions being eased and tourism swarms reforming when you will be able to go back and see the world’s great cities and sight as they were in the days before Tripadvisor.
You can hear more from Ben on his Flight of Fancy podcast on the Nine newspapers’ website.
After that, we talk about claims that some essential services providers are ripping off apartment owners by taking advantage of their dual role as inspectors and repairers.
Then Sue picks the bones out of a report by National Bank of Australia economists that says apartments would be cheaper if we just let developers build them 20 storeys higher.
Like many experts, we say no. Apartments will only be cheaper when people stop paying so much for them. Listen in for a vivid illustration of that fact of strata life.
And finally, there’s a call out to our listeners to get involved by sending us questions as audio tracks that we can include, and answer, on the podcast.
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