When the cat's away the mice begin to play

And when the cat is the government, you've got a very absent cat indeed. In the story below the government blames private builders but as anybody in the building game will tell you, new construction requires close supervision at every stage. The government has a body to do that supervision (The Queensland Building Services Authority) but their only concern appears to have been what to have with their morning tea. I was once a Qld. public servant so I know how it goes. I mostly used to have a Chester cake

BRAND new bathrooms have had to be ripped out of dozens of newly built public housing units across Queensland after they were found to be riddled with defects.

A The Courier-Mails investigation under Right To Information requests has found dangerously flooded bathrooms, ceiling damage from a leaking apartment block roof, blocked drainage, toilet leaks, damaged eaves and other problems have plagued accommodation for the needy.

The RTI revealed that in Mitchelton, in Brisbane's north, 10 units were declared "untenantable" two months after a block of 15 newly completed dwellings were handed over to the Department of Communities.

One month after the takeover, only one tenant, who otherwise would have been homeless, had been able to move in an urgent transfer.

The documents also revealed significant defects in six units in a new 12-block complex located at Stafford.

A document titled "Bathroom Defects Spreadsheet", dated June 24 this year, lists problems in multiple new public housing units at nine addresses in suburbs including Burleigh Heads, Labrador, Coomera, Mermaid Beach, Beenleigh, Stafford, Mitchelton and Morningside.

Under the Federal Government's $41 billion Nation Building and Jobs Plan economic stimulus package, Queensland's Department of Communities received more than $1 billion to build 4025 units and houses across the state, with each costing less than $300,000 for land and construction.

The Minister for Community Services and Housing, Karen Struthers, said the extent of defects in assisted accommodation built by the private sector was a concern.

"A number of bathrooms in particular were defective and what we've learned from this is the private sector needs to get its act together and meet Australian adaptable housing standards," she said.

"Let this be a message to private industry. On the projects they do with us, we expect a high standard and we expect them to understand the Australian standards."

With more than 1000 extra new units to be built by June next year, Ms Struthers said the message to the private building sector "is getting through, but we need to keep a close eye on this".

The Queensland Building Services Authority, which policed the projects, referred questions to Ms Struthers's office.

Master Builders Association executive director Graham Cuthbert had no record of the Department of Communities alerting his organisation to the problem.


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