EXPRESSION OF INTEREST – AUSTRALIAN BUILDING CODES BOARD NCC EDUCATION & AWARENESS

 

 

 

 

Australian Building Codes Board are seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) for a secondment opportunity in the role of Senior Project Officer (EL1) in the NCC Education and Awareness team at the ABCB.

Click here to download the “how to apply” document

Download advert here. 

For more information please contact:
Clare Wright – Group Manager, NCC Education and Awareness
02 6276 17700 or email Clare.Wright@abcb.gov.au 

ACIF FORECASTS MARKET DRAGGED DOWN BY RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION BUT NOT OUT

The Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) forecasts that the decline in Residential Building will be so deep that it will dominate the outlook for building and construction, dragging down economic growth and employment. The outlook has been detailed in the latest Australian Construction Market Report, released today. ACIF indicates there have been recent signs of improvement in some markets, but it will take time for the impact to be felt throughout all building and construction markets.

“The lowest interest rates on record have been reduced even more, despite this access to finance and credit has presented a significant hurdle to developers, builders, investors and owner occupiers. Market adversity has encouraged builders to withdraw from development of new projects; we witnessed new dwelling approvals plummet last year and commencements have also fallen. A fall in residential building activity is locked into the pipeline and this will take a while for this to be put into reverse,” said ACIF Construction Forecasting Council Chair Bob Richardson.​

Residential Building Activity
Residential Building work fell 0.4% last year (2018-19). A much deeper contraction of 8.4% is expected this year (2019-20), dragging the value of work done down to $96 billion. The rebound in building activity is expected to be delayed until 2021-22. The drop in activity will be difficult to avoid despite recent improvements in house prices because it will take time to restore approval numbers, secure land and commence new projects and address other ‘lags’.

Building and Construction Work Done ($ billion)

Non-Residential Building Activity
In marked contrast to Residential Building, Non-Residential Building activity is midway through a growth phase. Expanded business investment in Accommodation, Industrial and Offices, and Public sector investment, especially in Education and Defence. Growth is expected to continue through the remainder of this year and into 2020-21. This will raise activity to peak at $45 billion.

Infrastructure Construction Activity
Work done in Infrastructure Construction contracted by 5.5% last year to $62 billion. This reflected the completion of large projects, and delays in shifting to new projects which are often in different sectors and geographies. Infrastructure construction activity is expected to return to growth in line with expanded plans and programs, raising work done to $66 billion in 2019-20 and $68 billion in 2020-21.

Total Building and Construction Activity
While the downturn in Residential Building activity is expected to deepen this year, the depth of the decline will be offset by increases in other building and construction activities. The expected rebound in Infrastructure Construction spending will be too little too late to prevent a fall in total building and construction activity this year. Growing Infrastructure Construction spending will be sufficient to stabilise the amount of building and construction work to be done in 2020-21 and lead to a return to growth in 2021-22.

Employment in building and construction
Construction employment is projected to fall 2% to 1,159,000 jobs over this year, reflecting the significant decline in Residential Building activity that will be difficult to avoid. This is a concern because Residential Building is the most labour-intensive type of building and construction. Construction employment is projected to track sideways for 2-3 years based on relative stability in the level of total building and construction activity.

Building and Construction Activity in Summary 

 

 

 

 

 

Industry Outlook
Total building and construction work fell 8.2% last year to $233 billion. A further fall of 1.7% is expected this year (2019-20). Most, of the large losses in Residential Building activity are expected to be offset by increases in Infrastructure Construction and Non-Residential Building.

Download PDF Media Release here.

About Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF)
Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) is the trusted voice of the Australian construction industry. ACIF facilitates and supports an active dialogue between key players in residential and non-residential building, and engineering construction, other industry groups, and government agencies. ACIF’s focus is on innovation, collaboration, equity and sustainability for the industry. More information on ACIF is available from ​www.acif.com.au​.

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

It seems that my column of two weeks ago about negative media coverage with issues surrounding our profession sparked quite a bit of interest. Make no mistake that we will continue to give this a positive push wherever and whenever we can and equally, bring the issue up with relevant Ministers and others at a senior level.

Just on this note, if you have a positive story to tell from your business and about how you are perhaps making ‘a positive change’, we would love to hear from you and potentially give some coverage to.

In other news, we recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with both the University of Pretoria as well as The South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP). As we (AIB) continue to explore new opportunities around the globe, we see these two signings as creating stronger ties with not only our neighbours in South Africa but also as the organisation broadens its reach globally. It is hoped that in this vein, we will continue to explore new opportunities for potential accreditation of appropriate teaching institutions (universities) of construction management programs.

Have a great weekend everyone,
Greg Hughes

BUILDERS RAISE CONCERN ABOUT MANSLAUGHTER LAW

Builders Raise Concern About Manslaughter Law

A key building industry lobby group has raised concern about new legislation which could see bosses who negligently cause death of their workers facing up to 20 year’s jail or up to $16.5 million in fines, saying that the new offence should apply to all parties in workplaces and will adversely impact small business.

The Master Builders Association of Victoria (MBAV) has raised concerns about three aspects of proposed new laws which were introduced into the Victorian Parliament on Tuesday that will create a new offense for workplace manslaughter under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

Under the proposed changes, employers who negligently cause a workplace death will face fines of up to $16.5 million and up to twenty year’s jail in the case of individuals.

The offence will apply to employers, self-employed people and ‘officers’ of the employers (such as company directors).

The legislation will also apply when an employer’s negligent conduct causes the death of a member of the public.

The new laws follows recommendations contained in the final report of a senate inquiry into industrial deaths released in October 2018 for the nationally consistent implementation of an industrial manslaughter offence.

The inquiry called for states and territories to use as a starting point existing Queensland laws which were introduced after fatalities which occurred at the Dreamworld Theme Park and the Eagle Farm construction site in 2016.

In a statement, Victorian Minster for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy said no-one should die at work and that the government was committed to holding accountable those who negligently cause deaths.

“I cannot begin to imagine the pain felt by the families who have lost a loved one at work,” Hennessy said.

“All workers deserve a safe workplace and the proposed laws send a clear message to employers that putting people’s lives at risk in the workplace will not be tolerated.”

So far this year, 19 Victorians have died at work.

But MBAV has raised concern about the proposed new law.

In a statement, MBAV chief executive officer Rebecca Casson said the law should apply to anyone who engages in criminally negligent conduct which results in death in a workplace

As well as organisations and senior officers, this should include workers themselves.

Responsibility for safety, Casson said, should be shared between employers and their workers and should be approached in a spirit of collaboration.

Toward this end, she says legal responsibility where negligence occurs should apply to all involved in a workplace – not just employers and company officers.

Casson also expresses concern that the burden of the new laws will fall disproportionately on small employers, who typically have a more hands on role in company operations.

Finally, the legislation should be accompanied by education and support both for businesses themselves to provide safe workplaces and for Worksafe officials to manage the complexities associated with manslaughter cases (currently, manslaughter investigations are conducted by highly trained Victoria Police officers).

“The Victorian Government has today introduced a new workplace manslaughter law to Parliament,” Casson said.

“If passed as drafted, this law risks failing to create safer workplaces while imposing fines of around $16 million and up to 20 years jail for employers responsible for negligently causing death.

“We accept that the Government has a mandate to introduce workplace manslaughter legislation, but these laws should be fair and equitable.”

Written by Andrew Heaton 

Source: soureable.net

STRONGER POWERS FOR BUILDING REGULATOR UNDER NEW LAW

Media Release
The Hon Richard Wayne MP
Minister for Planning
Minister for Housing Minister for Multicultural Affairs

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering greater protections for building and apartment owners under sweeping new changes introduced to Parliament today.

The Building and Environment Protection Legislation Amendment Bill will give stronger powers to the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to investigate illegal phoenix activity, where companies deliberately go into administration to avoid liability for building work before re-emerging as a new entity.

The Bill strengthens the fit and proper person tests required for practitioner registration by incorporating financial probity requirements. This will allow greater scrutiny of company directors, secretaries and influential persons as part of the registration process.

The VBA will be able to refuse applications for new registration, or renewal of registration, if the applicant is suspected to have engaged in illegal phoenix activity at any time over the previous two years.

The Bill also expands existing suspension powers for building practitioners responsible for unsafe works to ensure that plumbers and architects can also face immediate suspension. This power was introduced for building practitioners in 2018 and has already been used by the VBA.

The Bill will also:

  • modernise and strengthen the Architects Registration Board of Victoria to ensure that the Board can effectively respond to present and future challenges and improve consumer protection and confidence in the industry; and
  • wind up the Building Practitioners Board and transfer its outstanding inquiries to the VBA for a more streamlined, efficient assessment.

While the Labor Government is doing all it can to identify and stop illegal phoenix activity, the Federal Government needs to make changes to national company laws for it to be properly stamped out.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“This bill is about giving Victorians more confidence in the building sector and helping the VBA to weed out those doing the wrong thing.”

“Plumbers and architects can face immediate suspension under these new laws, as well as not having their industry registration renewed.”

“We’re taking action to help curb illegal phoenix activity and it’s about time our Commonwealth counterparts did the same.”

 

Media contact: Nicole Bland 0417 375 623 | nicole.bland@minstaff.vic.gov.au

GREATER PROTECTION FOR BUILDING OWNERS

Gordon Ramsay MLA
Attorney-General
Minister for the Arts, Creative Industries & Cultural Events
Minister for Building Quality Improvement
Minister for Business and Regulatory Services
Minister for Seniors and Veterans
Member for Ginninderra 24 October 2019

Greater protection for building owners

Building owners will receive better protection from dodgy builders and developers following the introduction of laws to make company directors personally liable for building defects.

“The amendments will prevent corporations from undermining the system and deliberately avoiding their regulatory obligations by winding up their company” Minister for Building Quality Improvement Gordon Ramsay said.

“There have been instances where building corporations have produced substandard buildings, and when called to account, they have closed their business to leave the cost of rectification to the building owners.

“We’re strengthening our regulatory regime, with new powers to allow rectification orders to be issued to the directors of licensed corporations, and to make directors liable for unpaid financial penalties.

“New provisions will also provide greater safeguards for the community by allowing the Construction Occupations Registrar to publish information about stop notices if necessary or desirable to protect the public.

“These changes are important for the ACT and further support the range of building regulatory reforms already introduced by the ACT Government to improve practices across the building industry.

“The ACT Government has an ongoing commitment to improve building quality so that every Canberran can live and work in safe, high quality buildings.”

Other amendments introduced in the bill are:

  • Powers for building inspectors to direct builders and landowners in relation to non-compliant building work
  • Provisions that allow people to enter into enforceable actions to rectify work
  • Clear requirements for licensed corporations to have an effective system of management.

For more information visit: https://www.planning.act.gov.au/build-buy-renovate/home/welcome

Statement ends

Media contact: Anton Gallacher
T (02) 6207 3795  M 0422 574 E: gallacher@act.gov.au

ACT Legislative Assembly
Phone (02) 6205 2615   Email: ramsay@act.gov.au

CONSTRUCTING OUR WORLD WRAP UP

Constructing Our World Wrap Up
By Dr Robyn Hardy 

The Australian Institute of Building’s first international conference in years was held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney’s iconic Rocks District (18-20 Sept 2019). We are happy to say the feedback was a resounding thumbs up. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the program.

The three day conference started with four great site visits. Despite the weather (raining!) the tour group was treated to a very privileged view of the underground and behind the scenes activities and works of the Opera House, the Coal Loader Platform, Barangaroo and the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building at UTS. Our hosts at each venue provided fascinating insights into the construction issues at each site. We all got thoroughly soaked (the ponchos were appreciated even so) but came away happy we had all seen something we would not normally have had a chance to see as a local or a tourist in Sydney.

The themes for day one of the conference were “People” and “Process Innovation.” Delegates were welcomed to the conference with a message from the Commonwealth Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews, MP, and challenged straight away by the brilliance of Adam Spencer and his predictions for the impact of technological change on the world and the building industry.

During the first morning the audience was challenged to continue their own self education and improvement by Tony Avsec from LendLease (and AIB’s Chair of the CPD Sub-Committee), and confronted by the disturbing statistics of mental health issues prevalent in our industry by Chris Lockwood from Mates in Construction. Prof Benita Zulch our first international speaker informed us of the challenges faced by South Africa in educating their building workforce. Adjunct Professor Chris Bulmer presented on how to build excellence in service delivery of a construction business through effective HR strategies and leadership.

The afternoon session of Day 1 was a celebration of innovation in projects, starting with the wonderful Franklin Po from Tierra Design Studio in Singapore and his multipurpose sustainable designs for infrastructure in Singapore. Shiva Ghazal and David Beslich from Hansen Yuncken then took to the stage and wowed us all with their presentation about transforming HY’s technology platforms. The sustainability theme was continued with another of our international presenters, Tan Szue Hann from MINIWIZ Singapore with his inspiring and informative talk about promoting recycling and the circular economy. Meriton’s David Cremona presented his philosophy on succeeding with today’s challenges and raised some of the issues which were to feature on day 2. The day finished with a wonderful presentation by Alastair Brook from PDC Engineering showing us examples of the use of BIM on large and small projects throughout Australia.

After a night of celebrating the year’s best projects, great food, wine and music, day 2 started with a very informative presentation from one of Australia’s best financial journalists, James Kirby.  His presentation was followed Neil Savery of the Building Codes Board, Graeme Birkhead (President of the NZIOB),  Jim Moschoyiannis (L.U. Simon Builders) and John Tansey (NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation) to set the scene for the building issues Mini Summit which was the highlight of the morning. Graeme Birkhead’s illuminating New Zealand perspective on what he called “the Australianization of the NZ building industry”, a process resulting from numerous bankruptcy and liquidation processes with NZ building companies was a sobering but familiar issue for the conference audience.

The AIB assembled an eminent panel of discussants for the Mini Summit including: John Tansey (NSW Government), Graeme Birkhead (NZIOB), Karl Sullivan (Insurance Council of Australia), Jim Moschoyiannis (L.U. Simon), Brian Seidler (Executive Director, MBA NSW), Stephen Williams (TAYLORs), David Burnell (AIB National President). The panel discussed the current issues facing the industry including concerns with defective buildings; cladding and standards for materials; issues with building certification, licensing or lack thereof; registration of builders; the education and training of builders and building supervisors; insurance coverage for builders, owners and building surveyors; the problems with delivery models such as design and construct and special purpose company vehicles(SPVs); incomplete and error ridden design documentation; responsibility for design; taxation treatment of research and innovation; the lack of regulatory coordination across Australian States and Territories and shortages of skilled labour. The delegates were informed about the progress of the NSW and Commonwealth building reform processes and members of the panel expressed their views about what might and might not be appropriate and effective responses by government to the current problems.

Having frankly hashed out our building problems in the morning the afternoon was over to our youth and the future leaders of our building industry from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa, and wow! we were all amazed at how intelligent, articulate, and thoughtful each presentation was. There is hope for us all yet given the calibre of each of these young people! Delegates from each of these countries can be proud that their young builder representatives were absolutely impressive.

The three days concluded with a farewell from our hard working AIB National President David Burnell and a reminder that in 2021 the conference will move on to Singapore. We look forward to seeing you all there.

AIB CEO Greg Hughes, Dr Robyn Hardy and National President David Burnell 

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

If nothing else, for many it has been an angst filled year with the myriad of issues plaguing the industry at the moment. What we need to do is stop and reflect on some of the positive actions that are taking place post the issues at hand.

As an example, remediation work through recladding has been underway for quite some time on the Lacrosse building in Victoria. Through L.U. Simon, significant and often either unreported or misinterpreted actions by the media has cast what the AIB believes to be an unnecessary shadow over many parts of the industry and specifically, construction businesses themselves.

In another example, Icon’s work on the Opal Tower in Sydney has undertaken many initiatives that are often not reported. These include, but not limited to:

  • There are 392 apartments in the complex
  • 350 apartments were occupied at the time of the incident (late December 2018)
  • Over 370 apartments now available for reoccupation
  • The remaining apartments are subject to investigative works which are required for Icon’s owner Kajima to fulfill their previously committed 20 year structural warranty
  • Structural remediation works were completed 17th July 2019 (10 weeks post approval) and have been overseen by two engineers, a concrete technologist and the Owners Corporation appointed Project Manager. Final inspection of the completed works has also been inspected by the Department of Planning and Government Engineers
  • To date, Icon has spent $29m including dealing with residents and undertaking works
  • Despite constant negative publicity, Icon has remained focussed on the remediation and the resident’s welfare.

I would suggest that the media overall has taken a dim and quite negative view of the issues, without appropriate research etc. It’s time for some positive stories to start emerging. Stories that are both factual and appropriately researched can lead to improvements across the profession. Isn’t it time this starts happening now?

Have a great weekend ahead everyone.
Greg Hughes

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

Firstly this week, a sincere thank you to those supporters of Constructing Our World 2019. The feedback we received was very positive across many stakeholder groups as a conference that addressed (in some cases head on) the real issues affecting the industry at the moment.

My thanks to the many speakers who gave freely of their time as well as to our sponsors including Meriton Group, Bluebeam and Infrabuild who contributed to the event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also want to make a special mention of our Conference Chair, Dr Robyn Hardy. Robyn devoted countless hours into making the event what it was. Her passion and sheer determination to pull this together was without a doubt a herculean effort and wraps this up with our utmost heartfelt thanks. Photos from the conference can viewed here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sincere congratulations must also go to our winners from the National Awards which were held in between the conference. It was a great night, recognising some of the country’s outstanding talent in the building and construction industry. The full list of winner can be found here. The photos from the Awards night can be viewed here.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone.
Greg Hughes

BUILDERS PARTNER AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE ON CONSTRUCTION INNOVATIONS

To improve practice, the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) and its counterpart, Australian Institute of Building (AIB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which would further develop the methodology and technology of building construction.

The pact, which is aimed at making the two bodies have a shared commitment to becoming a stronger professional educator within the construction industry, was signed in Sydney during an event, ‘Constructing Our World’, jointly organised by the New-Zealand Institute of Building, Australian Institute of Building and Singapore Institute of Building.

According to the Australian Institute of Building President, Mr. David Burnell the professionals would work together to raise the level of professionalism in the Nigerian and Australia building industry.

Speaking on the initiative, NIOB President, Mr. Kunle Awobodu explained that the collaboration among members of the two institutes would promote research in the field of construction and also encourage greater participation of members in jointly organised construction events for valuable Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Mr. kunle Awobodu said there were ongoing discussions on collaboration with the New-Zealand Institute of Building and Singapore Institute of Building to create multilateralism for greater collective drive to technologically shaped construction products.

The two parties have also agreed to exchange information relevant to the development of the building construction management profession in Australia and Nigeria to facilitate an understanding of each other’s work.

In his goodwill message to the forum, the High Commissioner of Nigeria in Australia, Ambassador Bello Kazaure Husseini hoped that the bilateral relationship would advance construction innovations in Nigeria.

Recounting his experience after a tour of building construction sites in Australia, the Vice Chairman of the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), Dr. Samson Opaluwah commended the level of compliance with standards, which, of course, CORBON would not relent at promoting in Nigeria.

NIOB former General Secretary, Mr. Fadil Elegbede expressed satisfaction on the new value the Sydney event has contributed to the construction knowledge of Nigerian professionals despite the cultural differences.

Source: guardian.ng