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BFCSA investigates fraud involving lenders, spruikers and financial planners worldwide.  Full Doc, Low Doc, No Doc loans, Lines of Credit and Buffer loans appear to be normal profit making financial products, however, these loans are set to implode within seven years.  For the past two decades, Ms Brailey, President of BFCSA (Inc), has been a tireless campaigner, championing the cause of older and low income people around the Globe who have fallen victim to banking and finance scams.  She has found that people of all ages are being targeted by Bankers offering faulty lending products. BFCSA warn that anyone who has signed up for one of these financial products, is in grave danger of losing their home.

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BFCSA: Government expert says Opal crisis could have been avoided

Posted by on in ROYAL COMMISSION URGENT
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Government expert says Opal crisis could have been avoided

Australian Financial Review 10 Jan 2019 11:00 PM

Sue Williams and Jimmy Thomson

 

The NSW government-appointed expert who wrote its report into building industry standards says had his 2016 recommendations been followed, the Opal Tower crisis, where cracking in support walls has led to hundreds of residents being evacuated, might never have occurred.

And Michael Lambert, whose review of the Building Professionals Act contained 150 recommendations for improving quality control in new buildings, claims there are thousands of other defective buildings whose plight is never reported.

"I tried to persuade them [the government] to do something, but after two years, I gave up and sat back and felt very frustrated by it all," the former treasury secretary told The Australian Financial Review. "It's bureaucrats resisting any changes and ministers who don't feel motivated to override them."

Mr Lambert says defects in 85 per cent of the state's newly built apartment blocks, as revealed in a UNSW study, are the result of a systemic problem that will only get worse at "massive costs to individuals and society".

"There are thousands of Opals out there," he said. "The Opal Tower happens to be on a very large scale but there are so many smaller-scale buildings with problems that haven't been in the papers.

"Defects are cheap if they can be fixed before the building is completed," he said, claiming the costs would be one-tenth of fixing issues after the matter, while avoiding residents having to move out and having their lives disrupted.

"But there needs to be an effective regulatory system," he added. "There's a problem with this being in Fair Trading which is very reactive and passive. They don't have a proactive approach.

"I hoped that the Opal Tower would be a wake-up call for the government but I'm running out of hope now," he said. "In the three years since I wrote the report, very little has happened."

'Wrong target'

However, Better Regulations Minister Matt Kean, whose department takes in Fair Trading, says the Lambert report has since been overtaken by a national review of building regulations that he will be discussing at a federal level.

Residents of Opal Tower have been forced to move out due to damage.

"The Lambert Review was superseded by the Shergold Weir report that was initiated by the federal Building Ministers' Forum," Minister Kean said. "NSW has led the nation in implementing the recommendations from this report."

Minister Kean said in October he had passed "nation-leading certification reforms, implementing Michael Lambert's key recommendations, with serious penalties for certifiers who do the wrong thing".

However, building engineers say that if the government had listened to their pleas to pursue the Lambert Report's most critical recommendations 18 months ago, the Opal crisis could have been avoided.

"NSW has by far and away the worst regulation in this country. Even Queensland is far better," said Robert Hart, a member of an Engineers Australia committee looking into problems in the building industry.

"Matt Kean has tabled some changes to the Building Professionals Act but they're all to do with certifiers. He's set completely the wrong target.

"The one thing the government has been spectacularly successful at is failing to understand the role of the certifiers and being able to articulate that role to the wider public."

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