The NSW government has gagged a small number of Mascot Towers owners to stop them sharing a key damage report, residents of the troubled apartment block say.
Building Commissioner David Chandler last week said an interim report on damage at the Sydney apartment building would be shared with Mascot Towers owners but not the wider public.
“I have a copy of a draft interim report and in the next day or two that will be made available to the owners of Mascot Towers,” Mr Chandler told a state parliamentary committee.
But owners now say members of the strata committee were made to sign a confidentiality agreement before the report was handed over earlier this week.
Committee members have read the report but the confidentiality agreement prevents them from sharing it more widely with other Mascot owners.
The report was written by University of Newcastle professor John Carter and University of New South Wales professors Mark Hoffman and Stephen Foster.
Mascot Towers owners are furious they’ve not been given a copy of the report.
“They’ve got us by the balls,” one owner, who did not want to be named, told AAP.
“There’s no point having the report if no one can read it.”
Another owner said: “It came out earlier this week (but) they’ve all signed confidentiality agreements.”
Mr Chandler said the interim report would help residents move back into Mascot Towers.
“Everyone involved wants residents back in their homes,” he told AAP in a statement on Wednesday.
“I am grateful that the (report’s authors) have delivered an interim report which includes a number of recommendations about the issues that affect the building.
“Owners now have information which empowers them to make decisions, including taking the steps to move back into Mascot Towers.”
The 132-unit residential block was evacuated in June after cracks were found in the primary support structure and facade masonry.
Engineering advice suggested the cracks have continued to widen as new ones develop.
Owners had previously been warned of voids and areas of “very loose sand” being found under the building’s slab.
During last week’s parliamentary hearing, Mr Chandler was forced to hose down speculation Mascot Towers could be demolished.
“I have never canvassed that as being the likely outcome but I have certainly talked about, in looking at what might be the sorts of things that could be considered or were being considered around partial repair, partial demolition and rebuild, or total rebuild,” he said.
The newly-built Opal Tower block in Sydney Olympic Park was evacuated on Christmas Eve after cracks discovered in the building sparked fears it could collapse.