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The mystery of the missing Shenton Quarter structural report

When WA Commerce Minister Sue Ellery pledged to order an independent party to conduct a “dilapidation report” on the troubled Shenton Quarter apartment project, Australian Apartment Advocacy (AAA) was, with the buyers we represent, deeply relieved.


That promise was made in January. Now it’s March and there is no evidence that an independent party has even been briefed, let alone an inspection conducted or a report delivered.


AAA has been a vocal advocate of transparency for Shenton Quarter apartment buyers.


However, our efforts to establish who has been given responsibility for conducting this dilapidation report and making its contents public has been frustrated at every turn.


Contrast this with Queensland and NSW, where the regulators, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission and NSW Fair Trading are working on apartment sites to rectify defects in real time.


Where is the Cook Government advocacy for WA apartment buyers?


It is not fair or reasonable to expect buyers of apartments in the Shenton Quarter project - who expected to move into their apartments, initially in 2022 and then in 2023 and then got stamp duty bills before the settlement date because it’s been three years since they signed their contract – to wait indefinitely for an independent expert report on the structural integrity of the project.


These buyers were understandably unnerved by March 2023 photographs and footage showing what were said to be structural and engineering defects. The developer, Iris-PW, has said these issues have been addressed.


Where is the proof?  


Last October builder BGC walked off the Shenton Quarter project because of engineering and structural concerns. Iris-PW hired a new builder Gowdie Management Group to finish the project.


In February, the Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DEMIRS) told AAA that Gowdie had conducted a dilapidation report by video and supplied this to the City of Nedlands.


AAA asked the City of Nedlands for a copy of the report, and was told to seek permission for access to the report from Gowdie. When AAA approached Gowdie, it declined to release the video, saying it was a “walk through the site” for the developer.


A City of Nedlands officer has since advised there was no audio on the 11 video segments supplied by Gowdie and no defects identified.


AAA has also asked DEMIRS why it has not inspected the Shenton Quarter project. We did not receive a satisfactory response.


AAA has spoken with Iris-PW, City of Nedlands and the State Government, the DEMIRS and we are still no closer to getting answers about the structural integrity of the project.


This is beyond a joke.


Why has DEMIRS failed to either commission an independent expert to inspect the project or conduct its own inspection?


What is the responsibility of the City of Nedlands, as the issuer of the building permit, to its ratepayers?


If the Cook Government is serious about its desire to enable quality infill in near-city suburbs, it needs to set up a rigorous inspection framework to protect the interests of apartment buyers.


Shenton Quarter buyers, and buyers of any WA apartment, need assurance that the Cook Government will deliver robust consumer protection, audits and checks for building quality and provide oversight that restores consumer confidence in our apartment sector.

Dr Katrina Stratton pictured with the affected buyers.

They are questioning why Government is allowing them to suffer a drawn out nightmare.

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