ALMOST a month after London's deadly Grenfell tower blaze, Australia's top engineering body has warned that greedy developers are potentially putting lives at risk by "cutting corners" and building shoddy high-rise apartments.

Engineers Australia claims some building certifiers are signing off on substandard work that ranges from structural defects to waterproofing, plumbing and - most alarmingly in the wake of the London tragedy in which 80 people died - fire safety.
 

Flames and smoke engulf Grenfell Tower in London in June
Flames and smoke engulf Grenfell Tower in London in June Kyodo / AAP

"Multi-storey apartment buildings are being constructed that are not meeting the standards that the Australian public expects,'' it has told a federal Senate inquiry into shonky building products.

"In a system that puts cost ahead of professionalism we have created an industry where margins are thin and corners are cut.

"The Grenfell fire demonstrates that cost should not be the overriding consideration when procuring and constructing a building.

"Short-cuts should not be taken because, too often, short-term cost saving leads to longer-term ongoing costs as well as potential loss of life.''

A blaze gutted a Bankstown apartment complex in 2012. Authorities fear a similar incident — or one on the scale of the Grenfell Tower fire — could occur in NSW.
A blaze gutted a Bankstown apartment complex in 2012. Authorities fear a similar incident — or one on the scale of the Grenfell Tower fire — could occur in NSW.

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