Live in high rise but no working lift

ELDERLY residents are suffering over being forced to use the fire escape of a nine-storey unit block in Meredith Street, Bankstown, after a long battle to get the lifts fixed.

Many want to move but with the narrow fire escape, say they couldn’t move their belongings out even if they wanted to.
The building has two lifts but neither is operational, with strata manager Peter Poulos calling an urgent general meeting last October after nothing had been done after the first lift broke in April 2023.
“The strata committee voted against repairing it, they said they were looking at replacing the lifts,” he said.
With the second lift breaking on March 3, the occupants have had no choice but to struggle up and down the fire escape to access their homes since then.
Living on level 4, Ruqiya Malik said: “It’s very hard, almost impossible when you have shopping. I feel very sorry for the elderly, I see them struggle a lot.”
Four months’ pregnant with a toddler, Kaniz Fatema, lives on level 7.
“It’s horrible having to go up and down the stairwell every day, especially if you have to carry anything. I can barely manage. It feels like no one cares what we’ve been going through.”
Nikita Smith said: “I am one of the lucky ones being on level 2 but I’ve seen old guys on walking sticks needing help to get up the stairwell as well as mothers with prams. We still haven’t been told what is happening with the lifts. It is not good enough; this is Australia, not a third world country.”
Level 2’s Salman Ahan said he couldn’t believe they’d been left without lifts for so long.
“Yesterday, I saw an old guy with disabilities waiting outside for four hours for people to come so they could help get him back upstairs. It’s a terrible situation.”
One of the unit owners, Peter Hiebler, said the strata committee finally voted to repair the lifts on March 21.
“The problem is that these lifts are 24 years old and it’s not easy getting parts,” he said.
“But to his credit, strata manager Poulos has repair company Otis looking at the issue and they are hopeful of repairs being completed to one of the lifts at least by early May.
“If the committee had agreed to repairs in the first place, there would no issue now.”