Almost a year before the Opal Tower cracks appeared, an expert report identified huge problems in the building and construction industry.

It’s hard not to conclude the cracks at Sydney’s Opal Tower were bound to happen.

When they first appeared on Christmas Eve, the problems within the building and construction industry were already well known.

In fact almost a year before, a report looking at the industry had already identified concerning gaps in how properties were being constructed, particularly high-rises.

Commissioned by the Building Ministers’ Forum, a group consisting of federal, state and territory ministers, the Shergold and Weir report was released on 22 February 2018 and contained 24 recommendations.

A plethora of reasons have been cited for this failure which include shoddy design and construction contracts, poor documentation, regulatory oversights towards private contractors and lack of inspections.

The report has recommended many changes that should be implemented over the next few years the biggest of which includes a nationally consistent approach to the registration of building practitioners, so that builders couldn’t take on work they didn’t have the skills for.

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(Source: Charis Chang,