DesignBUILD is Australia’s leading event for Architecture, Building, Construction and Design professionals.

Taking place on 14-16 May at the Sydney International Convention Centre, DesignBUILD brings together over 7,000 professionals in the industry. From architects & designers to building contractors as well as specialists and senior industry decision makers, it is a significant gathering under the one roof with a view for delegates to learn about cutting edge products from across the globe.

DesignBUILD is the cornerstone of the industry. So what’s on in 2019? 

Locate new products: With 14,500m2 of exhibition space, DesignBUILD covers the full product spectrum from concrete and flooring, to paints, tapware, cladding, windows, doors, software, roofing and everything in between; DesignBUILD values quality and craftsmanship across every product sector.

Educate yourself on current trends: DesignBUILD has a curated timetable of seminars and offers a specific theatre dedicated to ‘building and construction’ focusing on everything from big picture issues around the regulatory framework, industry disruptors, procurement, specifying compliant products and security of payments and sustainability. Plus, practical examples in robotics, automation and intelligent infrastructure.

Collaborate with the Industry: With over 7,000 industry professionals and more than 300 leading brands within DesignBUILD 2019, you will have 3 days to engage and negotiate with new and existing suppliers and to network with your peers.

Feel free to contact the DesignBUILD team on 02 9275 9209 for more information.

We are excited to work alongside DesignBUILD and I hope you enjoy the show.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone.
Greg Hughes


4 April 2019

This last period has seen our awards submissions close and early bird registrations for Constructing our World in September open. Our full Council face to face meeting in March has now set some programs in place to work on recently approved initiatives.

We have a trial now running with a small cohort of matched students and industry mentors running and this has kicked off with the first implementation meeting. At the conclusion of this trial in July this year we will have some feedback on next steps to move this forward for implementation in more Chapters in the future. The National Council acknowledges the great work of Bob Wildermuth FAIB in Queensland, who completed the substantial amount of framework documentation up to the point of implementation.

Our Chapter judging panels have now commenced the process of reviewing and marking the Professional Excellence Award submissions to get to a list of finalists and winners ahead of the first Chapter Awards night which kicks off in Canberra on 23rd May so members should start booking tickets and tables for the various events running from May until July around the country.

Membership subscriptions have now been out for a couple of weeks and I would encourage members to contact the National Office on 02 6253 1100 next week if you have not yet seen an email from us with your invoice attached. In an effort to responsibly manage the institutes’ resources our first round of invoicing has been intentionally delivered electronically. If you have recently moved address or changed your contact details we would also ask that you update these by logging on using the website to check your current record. You can also pay directly by logging into your Membership and clicking Pay Membership Fee.

Finally this week I was privileged to attend as an observer the Deakin University – School Advisory Board. I was impressed that the school takes very seriously their commitment to monitor and continuously improve the content and delivery for the building degrees on offer at Deakin. The AIB is actively involved in supporting and accrediting some 15 degree courses around the country and we are pleased to see our comments on maintaining industry relevant content.

The balance of the week has included teleconferences and preparations for the various PEA dinner venues, responding to Industry commentators on ‘Shergold-Weir’ report progress across different States, Opal Towers and Cladding Issues to discuss facts and findings to better inform some of the forums about the detail rather than erroneous headlines.

So I look forward to seeing you at an AIB event soon.

David Burnell FAIB
National President, Australian Institute of Building


Ending Negative Gearing on Older Investor Properties

If you’re currently negatively gearing the rules won’t change. If you want to use it on new homes, you still can. But we cannot have property investors playing with loaded dice against our young people, Generation Y and the Millennials. And instead of patronising millions of young Australians with lectures about cutting back on smashed avo. Why don’t we tell them the truth: Getting together a 20 per cent deposit – plus stamp duty – is so much, much harder than it was 20 or 25 years ago.

And it’s even more difficult, when your government uses your taxpayer money to subsidise the property investors bidding against you. The intergenerational bias that the tax system has against young people must be called out. A government has to be brave enough and decent enough to stop the bias against first home buyers and young Australians.

Extra TAFE Spending

And when everyone has an equal chance to fulfil their potential. This is why investing in the future, always begins with education.

This is where the difference between Labor and the Government could not be more stark. Nine out of ten new jobs created in the next four years will require either a university degree or a TAFE qualification. Only a Labor Government will be prepared to properly fund both. We’ll uncap university places, opening the doors of higher education to an additional 200,000 Australians. And when it comes to vocational education, Labor is backing public TAFE all the way. I’ve been fortunate to have visited about 30 TAFEs around Australia since the last election. The teachers and students are inspirational. So tonight I’m pleased to announce that we are going to double the size of our Rebuilding TAFE fund – up to $200 million to renovate campuses in regional and outer-suburban Australia. This will mean:

  • This will mean new facilities for training nurses in Caboolture and Devonport.
  • New workshops in Midland and Bellevue, to make sure the METRONET train carriages work goes to apprentices.
  • A new construction centre for tradies in Chadstone and Frankston.

And so much more. Labor will also pay the upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE places to get more Australians training in high-priority courses.

Building Program

Building an economy that works for everyone means a massive building program, right across our nation. We will reinvigorate jobs in the construction sector:

  • With our Build-to-Rent plan.
  • Targeting Negative Gearing to new housing.
  • Renovating the national energy grid with new pipelines, interconnectors, hydro and storage.
  • Launching the biggest affordable housing program since the Second World War – building a quarter of a million new homes.

And we will invest in safe accommodation for women fleeing violent relationships. Because too often, when the worst happens, people still say: “Why didn’t she leave?” What we should ask is: “Where would she go?” Mr Speaker Labor has transport plans and projects ready to go in every state and territory:

  • Cross River Rail in Brisbane
  • Western Sydney Metro
  • Suburban Rail Loop in Melbourne
  • The Bridgewater Bridge in Tassie
  • South Road in South Australia
  • METRONET in Perth
  • Upgrading the roads around Kakadu
  • And Phase 2 of the ACT light rail.

And – thanks to Albo’s hard work – the work is just beginning. Labor will continue to develop and support the development Northern Australia: including overdue upgrades for the beef roads and the Rocky ring road. And tonight I can announce we will deliver $1.5 billion to upgrade the Gateway Motorway from Bracken Ridge to the Pine River – and the next stage of the Bruce Highway from the Northern Suburbs to Caboolture. There’s another big difference between Liberal and Labor on infrastructure. In their budget you have to vote for the current Prime Minister at this election… … then you have to vote for whoever is their leader at the next election… …and that’s before anyone even digs a hole. Our projects are not on the never-never, they are locked in to our first budget.

Infrastructure Australia to be Non-Partisan

There’s another difference that I offer the Australian people, frustrated by the constant short- termism in the infrastructure debate. If we are elected, I will invite the then-Opposition Leader to be involved in nominating directors to Infrastructure Australia, so we take the politics out and we make generational decisions in infrastructure for once and for all time. And every time we invest Commonwealth dollars in infrastructure projects.


We’ll make the rule that 1 in 10 people employed must be an Australian apprentice. Mr Speaker The bad news is that over the last six years under the Liberals, apprenticeships have fallen by 150,000. The good news is because of our vision:

  • in infrastructure housing construction
  • the NDIS
  • TAFE and training
  • early childhood education
  • energy
  • and the digital economy

…a Labor Government can repair the damage done. Tonight, I say we will help train 150,000 apprentices for the jobs of the future. We will provide additional support for businesses which take them on – both young people and mature age workers looking to re-train and to learn new skills.

And we’ll create an Apprentice Advocate – because the tragic death of an 18 year old apprentice on the Macquarie Park site last week, reminds us that we’ve got to protect our apprentices and they have the same right to come home safe as everybody else.

Wages and Security of Payment

Only Labor has a concrete, practical plan to get wages moving again.

  1.  If we win the election we will legislate to restore the arbitrary cuts to Sunday and public holiday penalty rates in our first 100
  2. We will stop companies using sham contracts and dodgy labour hire arrangements to cut people’s pay
  3. Our Tradie Pay Guarantee means that subbies working on Commonwealth projects get paid on time, every time.


While it may be some time away, I want to remind you that Early Bird Registrations are now open to our international conference in September Constructing Our World This really is shaping up to be a great event with a significant fringe event day on Wednesday 18 September in which you will get exclusive access to behind the scenes at Barangaroo, the Opera House, Frank Gehry’s UTS Building and one of Sydney’s Coal Loader projects.

The conference program is looking strong and don’t forget we have the National Professional Excellence Awards at the end of day 1 on 19 September. All this in a superb location – right near Circular Quay – Four Seasons Hotel. It will get to a point where we need to limit tickets, so I suggest you get in early.

I am happy to be able to let you know that we’ve received a near record number of entries for this year’s Professional Excellence Awards. With entries now closed, the real work begins of judging what no doubt will be an outstanding line up of individuals and their teams who have contributed to some cutting edge construction across Australia and overseas. Detail of Awards functions will be released very soon and when they are, get in early for a guaranteed great night!

Finally this week, great to see so many people re engaging with the Institute again through the renewal of their AIB membership. You know we can’t do it with out you so if you have not, please pay your subscription renewal notice asap. Any issues – as always, contact the Membership team at

Have a good weekend ahead everyone,
Greg Hughes





With thanks to Infrastructure Partnerships Australia for providing the 2019 Federal Budget Summary.

Click here to view full summary


The Australian Government will provide funding to support national infrastructure projects following the release of last night’s Federal Budget.

Download the Budget 2019-20 Federal Financial Relations Budget Paper No.3 here


Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) have been at the centre of a number of investigations in Australia and around the world. The development a permanent labelling system for ACP has been identified as a necessity. Standards Australia is seeking advice from industry and other stakeholders on the proposed approach for labelling of Aluminium Composite Panels.

View the Labelling of ACP products discussion paper (PDF). 





25 March 2019

Large construction companies with an annual revenue of more than $30 million have until the end of March to get their financial reports to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), or risk court action.

QBCC Commissioner Brett Bassett said the first deadline for new reporting reforms was at midnight on 31 March 2019.

“Under the laws which came into effect on 1 January this year, all QBCC licensees with a turnover of more than $30 million must submit their audited financial reports for the 2017/18 financial year to the regulator by the end of March,”Mr Bassett said.

“By the end of 2019, every other licensee will be required to meet new financial reporting rules.

“These new requirements help the QBCC to monitor the viability of licensees. Viable construction companies offerbetter stability for the industry and improve the security of payment for subbies and suppliers.

“Those who don’t follow the law could be subject to prosecution, financial audits and, where appropriate, licencesuspensions or cancellations.”

The Commissioner said that of the 855 licensees in categories 4 to 7, who have an annual revenue of more than $30 million, the QBCC had so far only received financial reports from 171 licensees.

Many of these licensees are large multi-national companies operating across the country. “Earlier this month we suspended the licence of construction giant Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty Ltd forfailing to meet minimum financial requirements,” Mr Bassett said.

“Let me be clear – if you are operating outside of the law, we will take appropriate regulatory action.

“Part of our job is to ensure Queensland’s building and construction industry is safe, stable and sustainable, and if big companies are operating with unacceptable financial risk, then we will be taking regulatory action.

“We must work to protect the sector from serious financial harm. When big companies collapse, it has a devastating impact on the industry.

“The new annual financial reporting requirements will help the QBCC to better protect subbies, suppliers, othercompanies, homeowners and investors from potential financial detriment when licensees are operating with poor financial health.”

For instructions on how to submit the financial documents, visit The QBCC website also has a licensee search function for consumers.

The QBCC will also send reminders to licensees who are yet to provide their information.

© Queensland Building and Construction Commission 2014. ABN 88 568 500 260 Queensland Government


22 March 2019

This week started last Saturday with our first face-to-face National Council meeting for 2019. The Council uses these larger all day planning and strategy sessions every 6 months to monitor past performance, plan for budget and programs that will be part of the next 12 months to align with the AIB financial year which commences each April with the renewal of membership subscriptions.

As we plan for the next 12 months and beyond, we start with the framework based on current members and we look at how we best deliver events, education and CPD content and course accreditation from a National perspective. Our Chapters each operate within this outline and extend the services to members based on local issues, site visits and CPD events are targeted to both members and non-members to add value and technical information to grow their expertise.

Key work achieved included:

  • the adoption of our 2019/2020 budget for work commencing after 1 April this year;
  • status updates for the Professional Excellence Awards program with submissions now closing today for all Chapters;
  • review of the early registrations across our Constructing our World conference which is booked for Sydney this September;
  • reporting on the Course Accreditation program with 3 of 5 Universities booked in review this year;
  • we filled a casual vacancy at Council with the elevation of Claire Vervaart to Senior National Vice President for the balance of this year until September;
  • adoption of an AIB Industry Partners program aligned with our Chapters looking for some ‘in kind’ support to assist with Chapter administration, CPD and events management to allow us to continue and increase the services for members locally.

I was able to attend the memorial service in Adelaide last Tuesday for Mr Graham Fricker AM LFAIB. The service was well attended as Graham not only served the institute with distinction as our National President from 2001 to 2003. He was also committed to outstanding international level equestrian events and was instrumental in this starting in Adelaide and then being included in the 2000 Olympic program in Sydney. Graham also served the community through his work with Rotary and his local church community. The service was led by former SA Premier, Rev Dr Lynn Arnold AO and Rev Sam Goodes.

The AIB was well represented with a number of our SA Chapter members and fellows joining me to pay their respects.
[Geoff Penley, Don Sarah, Andrew Marshall, David Burnell, Ron Swane and John Marshall] John Thomas was in attendance but not pictured.

The balance of the week has included teleconferences and preparations for the PEA program for the judging panels to commence their work, Chapters are finalising venue bookings and we will start advertising the various annual Chapter dinner and awards functions with our first awards presented for the ACT Chapter in Canberra on Thursday 23rd May 2019.

Do not forget the Professional Excellence Award submissions for 2019 are closing today, so you should start to plan attendance at your respective dinners through May, June or July and book tables for your construction teams and clients to show case the great projects recently completed.

Finally this week has seen early bird registrations opened for the Constructing our World Conference which is happening in September in Sydney. I would commend to you early registration and also locking in your accommodation to get the best deal close to our conference venue. Sydney will be busy around this time with both Rugby and AFL finals also happening.

I look forward to seeing you soon at an AIB event soon.

David Burnell FAIB
National President
Australian Institute of Building


Our National Council Meeting was held last Saturday here in Canberra. Of particular note, we discussed:

  • Ways that we (AIB) can better engage and deliver benefits to our students and graduates in the industry
  • A review of the Institute’s delivery of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and are we hitting the mark?
  • Discussion/next steps around the trial of the National Mentoring Program

Our membership renewal notices have gone out and on behalf of the National President, David Burnell we both strongly encourage you to re – engage with us for another year. As you are aware, the strength of this organisation lies with it members. Can I assure you that all of us here at National Office and on our National Council as well as Chapter Committees continue to work extremely hard to advocate for the profession and deliver services and events in order to be able to help you grow professionally. If for any reason you may be having difficulty in paying, please contact the membership team.

Finally this week and some good news, due to numerous requests we have extended the date  for entries in the 2019 AIB Professional Excellence Awards. That means you have until tomorrow Friday 22 March (11.59PM AEDT) to finish up and submit your entry through our new system – Award Force and be a part of this exciting national program.

For those who have entered, sincerely my best wishes and we look forward to catching up with you on the following dates:

ACT PEA                    23 May 2019 (Ainslie Football Club)
SA/NT PEA               31 May 2019 (National Wine Centre of Australia)
QLD PEA                   14 June 2019 (Pullman Brisbane King George Square)
HK PEA                      21 June 2019
WA PEA                     29 June 2019 (The Westin) 
VIC/TAS PEA          19 July 2019
NSW PEA                  26 July 2019 (Dockside Sydney)
NATIONAL PEA     19 September 2019 (Four Seasons Hotel Sydney)

Have a great weekend ahead everyone,

Greg Hughes