Builder defends gutting Sydney units

Builder defends gutting Sydney units

The builder of the cracked Opal Tower has defended its gutting of some apartments that sparked fury among residents.

Some residents, who have been living in temporary accommodation for nearly two weeks, say they weren’t notified before their possessions were shifted, ceilings ripped apart and fridges emptied.

The newly-built tower in Sydney Olympic Park was evacuated on Christmas Eve after cracks found in the building sparked fears it would collapse. That fear has subsided but a preliminary independent investigation has found a number of design and construction issues.

A final report is due on Friday.

Residents on Saturday said they returned to find their homes “absolutely trashed” and some claimed their locks had been changed.

Pictures seen by AAP reveal one unit has had its ceiling and flooring torn away to allow equipment to prop up the concrete slabs separating each floor. “It’s absolutely trashed,” said one woman in a social media group chat for residents.

“We are so upset.” Construction firm Icon says the body corporate has been kept abreast of their workers’ movements through the building.

“That was their request and they were to communicate with residents,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.

“No locks have been removed, however some were damaged by emergency services.” The builder also said it had taken photographs of apartments prior to starting its investigations and another set of photos when protection was laid out or furniture removed.

Fridges were cleared out in the interests of residents as power had to be isolated and insurance claims for the cost of those goods can be made immediately, Icon said.

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