Virus rages unchecked – and so does anger at renos


“Just stay home … don’t go out … work from home if you possibly can,” say the Premier, the Health Minister and anybody else tasked with enforcing our lockdown.

And if there are renovations going on in your block, tough! A pair of those “Ebay Tuesday” noise cancelling headphones are on their way (just joking about that last bit).

That’s the situation in Sydney, as described below by a Flat Chat reader. And the new restrictions on leaving home make it almost impossible for strata residents to escape the noise from renovations.

In Victoria, in stark contrast, their public health orders say renovations can’t be conducted in a residence that’s “occupied” and if one apartment is occupied, then they are ALL considered to be occupied.

So no renos in Vic blocks where people are living, working and just trying to stay sane.

What makes this all the more galling is that two members of the “Crisis Cabinet” are former Fair Trading Ministers, Victor Dominello and Stuart Ayres. Were they so scarred by their experiences that they want to punish us? Or have they forgotten what it’s like to live in apartments?

Here in NSW, our Health department says renovations can continue provided there are no more than two workers per apartment, and that can occur in as many different apartments in the one block as want to do a reno.

Common sense, they say, will prevail. Here’s what that really means for one Flatchatter who, like her neighbours, is being driven to distraction by a major reno in her block.

Lockdown reno shocker

HERE WE are in lockdown in Greater Sydney with the number of daily Covid cases skyrocketing. What a shock then for an owner in our block to announce work beginning on a major renovation. 

Approval was given last year.  The premises are being gutted, masonry walls knocked down and kitchen and bathrooms refurbished. For days we have been faced with intolerable noise from drills and the like. 

Residents are furious. They can’t work from home.  Many are in sales, on commission.  Some parents are working from home while minding their their children .  The shift-workers [like nurses] have to try to sleep through the noise.
Elderly residents, unable to use the stairs must share the use of our tiny lift and our small non-ventilated common areas with the passing workers.

The only requirement is that the workers (maximum 2 at a time) wear a mask. No Covid Safe Plan required.
We were forced out onto the street for days.  Snatching lunch behind bushes. Now come the plumbers and electricians. Will they spread Covid in our building?

I can’t listen to the 11am health messaging (too noisy). I can’t see my family but different tradesmen can traipse through our hallways and commandeer our lifts.

The government made these rules without ANY consideration for the impact on strata residents and we are FURIOUS.

Eve Thomas

By the way “getting away from the noise of a renovation next door” is not one of the permitted reasons for leaving home.

We have passed this on to Fair Trading and Customer Services, but NSW Health isn’t listening to them, so why would we expect them to listen to us?

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