ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

Somewhere on the furthest fringe of Betoota Heights lies a home that was completed just a few days ago, and it has more defects than your garden-variety French Bulldog or common Pug.

Not only that, but in the hours after the final screw was driven into the last doorframe, the builder was “phoenixed,” and the phone number disconnected.

Local building inspector Derek Rodriguez has the responsibility in this project to write a report for the lender and make sure the project is at the appropriate stage to unlock the next installments of the construction loan.

The property is being built for a young couple currently renting nearby. Mike Reece and Sally Collins say it’d be underselling it if they said they were anxious about where the project is at.

“We were excited to learn the bank was prepared to lend us up to $900,000,” said Sally.

Mike chuckled.

“Yeah, so we picked out a 289 sqm display home that cost pretty much $900,000 and found a builder. We thought we’d be slicing our Christmas ham in there in just a few months. Instead, the building inspector is just standing out the front laughing his helmet off.”

Derek is indeed laughing.

He told The Advocate he knew the building was defective before he even got in the car to come inspect it.

“I called the builder, and it said the number was disconnected,” he said.

“That’s what gave me the giggles the first time. So I went out there, parked out front, and just burst out laughing. It’s actually ridiculous what people get away with these days. Like, you’d get shot for less in parts of America. Honestly. I saw a bloke on the news the other day in Chicago get greased for knocking a bloke’s hat off at the bus stop,”

Derek started laughing again.

“You could see someone put half the interior doors on upside down, realized, then flipped them back up the right way. The home has this resonant hum in the wind. I can see daylight around some of the window frames. Oh man, the butler’s pantry floor. They just poured another mini-slab on top of the house slab. Nothing in between, just a bunch of wet cement on less wet cement. Whooska,”

“The list goes on, but around every corner, I was just pissing myself. How does the government let this happen?”

More to come.


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