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Builder asked to fix building flaws

Date

David Ellery

A Canberra building company linked to a score of high-profile housing developments across the city has been issued with a ''notice of intention to make rectification'' by the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate.

Milin Brothers Builders, which is responsible for the construction of the Pulse Apartments complex at the corner of Swain Street and Gungahlin Place, Gungahlin, was issued with the notice on Monday.

Deputy Registrar Construction Occupations Jeff McAdam wrote: ''I believe, on reasonable grounds that you, Milin Bros Builders Pty Ltd, provided a construction service not in accordance with the Building Act 2004 and that it may be appropriate to make a rectification order''.

The notice follows an extended ESDD investigation into residents' complaints about the quality of electrical and fire safety networks and fittings.

Unit owners have also raised questions about the structural integrity of the Gungahlin project with an independent report, sighted by The Canberra Times, claiming there might not be a certified fire resistance level on the steel beams that support the three-storey unit blocks.

One unit owner, who has building industry experience, says if all the allegations made by residents are proven, the final rectification bill could come to more than $1 million.

Dennis Milin, of Milin Brothers Builders, told The Canberra Times he took the allegations ''very seriously''.

''The allegations raised in your email have been the subject of ongoing correspondence and I do not consider it would assist in the resolution of these allegations to make further comment at this point,'' he wrote. ''In recent times our contractors have been denied access to the building so we are unable to complete any further work.''

Milin Builders and Developers has, according to its website, more than 2200 units and townhouses either completed or under construction.

These include the $100 million-plus, 479-unit ''Oracle'' development in Belconnen.

Pulse Apartments, with only 57 units, all of which are believed to have been sold, is on a more modest scale.

The units have been built in three separate blocks over a shared underground car park. They sold for between $285,000 and $300,000 a unit.

The land on which the development stands was bought by Capital Townhouse Developments for $2.3 million on March 14, 2008.

Monday's notice gives the company until October 29 to respond to the proposed rectification order.

If, after considering any submissions by Milin Brothers Builders, the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate issues a rectification order the company will have 30 working days to provide the lessee(s) of the building and the ACT Construction Occupations Registrar with a report from a professional engineer acceptable to all three parties.

The engineer would be under instructions to determine if the buildings are ''structurally sufficient'', have been built in accordance with the Building Code of Australia and comply with manufacturers specifications.

The notice states: ''If the professional engineer finds there are deficiencies and sets out any rectification required then the order would then require you [Milin Bros Builders] to undertake rectification work or meet the costs of the rectification work''.

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