The head of work safety in the ACT is confident in the work being done to rectify a collapsed excavation pit in Dickson as frustrated residents and owners demand answers from the developer.
While residents gathered for a roadside meeting to seek answers on Tuesday evening, the site's developer and owner, Art Group, was nowhere to be seen.
Instead, on Tuesday the group's Instagram account was spruiking the Northbourne Avenue development, dubbed Calypso, at the centre of last week's incident.
A group of about 10 residents gathered on Lowrie Street to meet with Drew Mathias, a director at Bloc, the licensed builder for Calypso.
Among them were three home owners whose backyards partially fell into an eight-metre-deep excavation pit at about 1.30am last Tuesday.
Mr Mathias told residents structural and geotechnical engineers were still working to determine the cause of the collapse.
He said work had been completed to make the site safe and the group was now awaiting WorkSafe ACT's approval for the second stage of the rectification.
This would likely involve refilling the excavation hole and constructing a new retention system. It could take up to four weeks to complete.
On Wednesday, ACT Work Health and Safety Commissioner Jacqueline Agius said WorkSafe ACT inspectors were liaising with the parties involved with the Calypso development.
"I know that they've been out there, they've ensured that whatever work has been carried out is being carried out safely," she told The Canberra Times at an event promoting National Safe Work Month.
"So I'm confident that our team are working to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that that site is safe."
She said WorkSafe had conducted additional inspections at other ACT excavation sites since the Dickson incident.
Mr Mathias offered residents an apology for the inconvenience of the collapse but maintained Bloc was not the entity responsible for the incident.
There were no representatives present at the event from Art Group or Lentro Earthworks, which was contracted for the excavation work.
While residents were pleased to have a line of communication open with the builder, their questions about why the collapse occurred went unanswered.
They raised questions such as whether there was the potential for another collapse if the pit was excavated again and the impact rain might have on the site moving forward.
Others raised questions about whether there would be compensation if the incident impacted the market value of their homes.
Alan Barber, who owns one of the properties on Lowrie Street, said the groups involved in the development had been passing the buck since the collapse occurred.
"The main concern is we still don't have the party identified who is responsible or is acknowledging they're responsible for the incident that's happened," he said.
Mr Barber said the communication with Bloc was a good first step, however there needed to be a clearer path for rectification and compensation.
"[Bloc] have said upfront they're not responsible, so that's left a lot of unanswered questions," he said.
"Another concern leading from this is there's no one that seems to be coordinating everything, all the pieces that have to be pulled together to make [the rectification] happen as quickly and effectively as possible."
On Tuesday, Art Group's social media accounts painted a different picture.
Art Group posted a series of Instagram Stories advertising the 166-apartment Calypso development.
One post asked the question: "Where do you see yourself spending time outdoors at Calypso?", alongside renders of the apartments.
The developer would not confirm why there was no Art Group representative at the residents' meeting when asked by The Canberra Times.
"The construction team, including engineers, are conducting formal weekly liaison meetings with the residents of neighbouring properties to address their questions associated with the planned works," a spokesperson said.
Personally, Mr Barber and his wife Irene were looking for more certainty about when their backyard would be accessible again.
"Without knowing how long, we can't prepare ourselves mentally for what we're going to have to live without," Mr Barber said.
"We just don't know and we can't access the backyard, which is our little world."
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