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Opal Tower: 'Design And Construction' Issues As Residents Talk To Lawyers

Engineers tasked by the NSW government to investigate Sydney's controversial Opal Tower claimed the building has "a number of design and construction issues."

Professor Mark Hoffman and Professor John Carter Deans, from the University of New South Wales and University of Newcastle respectively,  said they are still waiting for some key information required to complete their investigation, but shared their initial findings.

"We can say from our initial assessment there is no evidence of any issues with the foundations of the building, though we believe that there are a number of design and construction issues that require further investigation," the pair said in a statement shared by state planning minister Anthony Roberts.

"We are now able to focus our attention on these key areas to determine what has caused the issues."

Image: AAP

The new details have emerged as a 10-day deadline for relocation of residents, set by builder Icon last week, nears. The builder forced residents to again leave their homes in the week of December 27, after previously asking many to leave their apartments just before Christmas, to "enable comprehensive investigations to continue".

That 10-day period would end on Monday.

But some fed up residents have refused to budge from their apartments after a nightmare week which saw them evacuated for several hours on Christmas Eve, after cracking noises were heard inside the building.

More than 300 people were evacuated in the Sydney Olympic Park area, with fears the entire building could collapse.

A preliminary investigations later found a concrete panel inside the 34-storey building had become compromised.

On Friday, head of class action at Shine Lawyers, Jan Saddler said lawyers had spoken to a number of worried and frustrated Opal Tower residents. Occupants had been forced to live in temporary accommodation for a week, with little details on what their next steps will be.

A resident asks questions of Icon Managing Director Julian Doyle at a press conference outside the Opal Tower on Boxing  Day. Image: AAP

"People are very frustrated about the fact that they have to move out at this time of the year for who knows how long," Saddler told 10 daily.

"First and foremost people are concerned about their safety and the safety of their families," she said, adding there was ongoing concern over whether the forced 10 day evacuation was because of the significance of damage or just for the convenience of engineers.

"Then they start of course thinking about their future and the fact that they have a significant financial investment, and what comes out of that".

Saddler told 10 daily it was still "very preliminary days" over speculation a class action suit could be launched by residents.

She added that any sort of decision by residents would come after the outcome of the report and investigations were released.

Tenth floor wall that crumbled. Image: Daily Telegraph

After mounting pressure on the NSW Government, the Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean announced a crackdown on "cowboy" certifiers in a bid to address the concern about the state's building certification process.

But Labor slammed the announcement, claiming the plan was inadequate and accused the government of loose regulation of the building industry.

READ MORE: Crackdown On 'Dodgy' Certifiers As Residents Face 'Sleeping On The Streets'

On Friday, Planning and Housing Minister Anthony Roberts said the government could not comment on the proposed rectification work until it receives further advice from independent experts.

Hoffman and Carter said they were expecting to make a further statement on their finding by the end of the week.

Featured Image: AAP

Contact the author: vgerova@networkten.com.au