NATIONAL PRESIDENT’S UPDATE – BMF JULY

The AIB was invited to participate this week within a smaller group of Industry associations attending the Building Ministers Forum (BMF) in Sydney along with 11 other industry and employer groups as a follow up to the last meeting held in February 2019.

We had a short agenda which included presentations and discussions around Professional Indemnity insurance and Professional Standards. The second agenda item was to receive an update and report back on the Building Confidence Report Implementation.

I am happy to report that the meeting commenced with opening remarks from the Chair, The Hon Minister Karen Andrews MP, confirming a breakthrough with agreement on the eve of the meeting that included all states and territories committing to a high level of support for a national approach to implementation of the Building Confidence report.

Key points of agreement involve:

  • The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) getting support to roll out the implementation of Shergold-Weir recommendations;
  • Ministers confirmed commitment to a national approach;
  • Recognition that States will continue to work in local jurisdictions in parallel to address and progress the paths to remediation already identified as issues needing attention now;
  • The new work plan for the ABCB is comprehensive and Industry Representation will be required to support the work of the Building Codes Board.

Other significant presentations around Professional Standards confirmed the requirement for better outcomes which involve industry associations having individuals who are committed to professional practice. The meeting encouraged all associations to stop an inward focus on members and grow an outward focused consumer outlook.

Industry Associations will only be part of the solution if they have features that strengthen the skills and support of members. There will be a need for professional standards being linked to registration of individuals. Monitored supervision and discipline mechanisms within associations will be needed to understand their member activity and gather data on the types of services being offered to the consumer.

Association governance and reliable data will play a part in the risks between clients, and consumers. This can then better inform the market around insurance matters, liability exposure and this conceptual change to focus on customers that will bring insurance premiums and excess levels into an area that allows better assessment by insurance providers.

The public is looking for businesses and individuals to have standards and ethics backed by data that produce improved standards of construction.

Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance discussions involved the recognition that the reality for insurance providers currently is that every dollar collected in premiums when called on to respond to a problem pays out three times the premium collected. Insurance providers have therefore taken a view that the industry is unstable around confidence and this has led to the premium increases which reflect the recent claims history.

For PI insurance to remain viable the insurers and underwriters need real data and improved outcomes from industry. Insurance is provided to the market for specialist practitioners, building constructors and home owners on a prudential basis and the lack of data feeds into the market deterioration.

The Insurance Council representatives welcomed the news of a National Implementation around Building Confidence. A positive step is the news that state and territory action is occurring in parallel on rectification commencements in a climate that includes carved out for cladding exclusions. This improvement and action that de-risks any current installation will be a factor that encourages insurers to reassess and reduce premium and excess values for PI cover in the future that will be offered to practitioners.

I am encouraged that the discussions reflected the outline points offered by the AIB in February 2019 around the need for the BMF to tackle:

  • State and Federal ministers who work cooperatively as the lead regulators;
  • Universal adoption and use of NCC volumes 1-3 across all jurisdictions;
  • National Licencing for all building practitioners;
  • Adopting an industry wide approach to continuing professional development as a requirement for all licence holders.

The AIB looks forward to playing a continuing role in the new work of the ABCB implementation team and updating our earlier discussions with both Ministers and departments through their Senior Officers Group (SOG) and the Building Regulators Forum (BRF).

Finally, I have attached the communique from the federal government that highlights the work that is earmarked to be worked up with the Australia Building Codes Board (ABCB) over the coming months and beyond.

Also attached is the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) media release which was distributed today regarding events over the last couple of days. The AIB is not only a member of ACIF but significantly contributes to its public comment. ACIF is regularly picked up by both Australian and international media and is a strong voice for the profession.

I wish you a pleasant weekend,

National President
David Burnell FAIB 

BUILDING MINISTERS’ FORUM COMMUNIQUE

The Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) met today in Sydney to discuss a range of issues facing the building and construction sector. Ministers also met with industry representatives and discussed matters including professional indemnity insurance and implementation of the Building Confidence report.

Building Ministers agreed to a national approach to the implementation of the Building Confidence report. It was noted that many issues are historical and will continue to be addressed as the need arises. However, Ministers acknowledged the issues of the past won’t cripple the future of the sector and, to that end, Ministers committed to work together to build a stronger building and construction sector in Australia.

Building Ministers will strengthen the Australian Building Codes Board

The strategic plan of the Australian Building Codes Board will be recast to better reflect the current challenges in the building sector.

The Australian Building Codes Board will be expanded to include greater representation and engagement from industry.

States and territories retain responsibility for building and construction matters

The Commonwealth will continue to help facilitate on the clear understanding that the states and territories have powers and responsibilities to regulate building matters. States and territories will take responsibility for their individual paths to remediation and rectification.

All jurisdictions support a national framework to address the issues identified in the Shergold Weir Building Confidence Report

To achieve this an implementation team will be established, for a period of time, as part of the Australian Building Codes Board. The implementation team will be tasked with developing and publicly reporting on a national framework for the consistent implementation of recommendations of the Shergold Weir Building Confidence report, as well as the design, construction and certification of complex buildings.

Industry are invited to contribute to the development of the framework through in-kind secondments to the implementation team.

The national framework will be responsive to the most efficient mechanism to achieve the desired outcome and will result in amendments to the National Construction Code (NCC) and/or the development of other guidance as required.

Adoption of the framework and ultimate implementation of the Building Confidence report recommendations will remain the responsibility of the state and territory governments.

States and territories will work towards a coordinated approach to professional indemnity insurance

To achieve this a professional indemnity options paper, developed in collaboration between New South Wales and Queensland, will be released for targeted consultation with insurers and the building industry. The options paper will set out a pathway for professional standards schemes and alternative insurance options. Outcomes of consultation will be reported back to the Building Ministers’ Forum by September 2019.

The building ministers called on insurers to meet their existing obligations and lift their exclusions on professional indemnity insurance following this strong action by states and territories.

Silicosis

Building Ministers noted their continuing concern about the re-emergence of the illness of silicosis and the devastating impact that this disease has on sufferers and their families. Ministers agreed to support the work being pursued by the COAG Health Council and Work, Health and Safety Ministers to reduce and respond to instances of silicosis.

ACT Builder Licensing Exams

Ministers noted the work of the ACT in introducing examinations for Builders’ Licenses, and agreed that the Commonwealth would seek information from Australian Skills Quality Authority on planned audits of building and construction qualifications, the potential to include these in the ASQA’s work plan, expediting this where necessary and will invite ASQA to the next meeting of the BMF to report on this.

Technical specification for permanent labelling of Aluminium Composite Panels

Ministers also welcomed the release of a consultation paper by Standards Australia on a technical specification for permanent labelling of aluminium composite panels (ACPs).

Energy efficiency

Ministers also agreed to the development of enhanced energy efficiency provisions for residential buildings in the National Construction Code, informed by the COAG Energy Council’s trajectory for low energy buildings. The ABCB will shortly release a paper for public consultation on options for implementing these provisions in the NCC.

NCC out-of-cycle amendment

The BMF signalled their intent to undertake an out-of-cycle amendment to the NCC to introduce enhanced fire safety measures for early childhood centres in high-rise buildings. These changes will be progressed in coming months through a public Regulatory Impact Assessment.

Next BMF meeting

The BMF will meet again in December 2019.\

BMF Industry Roundtable

INDUSTRY GROUPS CALL FOR URGENT AUSTRALIA-WIDE ACTION ON BUILDING REGULATION

 

 

 

 

Background

Australia’s fragmented approach to regulatory enforcement and compliance with building regulations requires a renewed commitment to national action to maintain public confidence in our built environment. The concerns of the signatories are characterised by the following:

  • Australian and international insurers are introducing strict cladding-related exclusions in mandatory professional indemnity insurance products for building practitioners in the building supply
  • The discovery of major defects in buildings has significantly reduced the ability of those building owners to find an insurer willing to accept the
  • State and territory governments have not taken a consistent and comprehensive approach to undertaking and completing audits of existing high-rise buildings with combustible cladding, nor developed a remediation
  • Governments are taking an inconsistent and fragmented approach to implementing reforms described in the Shergold-Weir report, which was released 18 months

Though some action has been taken to amend the National Construction Code (NCC) and effectively eliminate the use of many types of combustible cladding on new building facades, the response of state and territory governments to dealing with cladding on existing buildings has been patchy and inconsistent.

The building, construction, property and insurance industries have continued their calls for state and territory governments to adopt a consistent and best practice regulatory response to the challenges presented by combustible cladding.

Positive action has been taken in some jurisdictions, however other states are lagging and the continued inconsistency in the approach across governments is manifesting in the crisis confronting building practitioners in the building supply chain. This has led to significant increases in professional indemnity premiums and a reduction in cover via exclusions on combustible cladding and non-conforming building products.

Building surveyors, engineers and architects are now struggling to obtain the insurance they need to do their job, which in turn could seriously affect future building or construction activity.

Consumers, building owners, building practitioners and their insurers need certainty and confidence in building regulation. Building and construction, when combined with the property sector, is the nation’s largest industry, provides the most full-time jobs and is a vital engine of economic growth. The economy must not be put at risk by the failure to provide certainty through a consistent approach in dealing with these issues.

The entire building and construction supply chain risks being further impacted by this continued uncertainty, and industry participants want to work cooperatively with governments to rebuild that confidence.

We urge the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to work together in providing certainty through a uniform national approach to dealing with these matters.

What needs to be done
As organisations representing the building, construction, property and insurance industries, we urge the Federal Government to play a leadership role and bring together all state and territory governments to:

  1. Develop and implement a consistent and best practice Australia-wide response for risk assessment and a rectification strategy for existing buildings with combustible cladding with an agreed timetable that reflects the urgency of the issue. This will reduce confusion, clarify the scale of the challenge and support a viable professional indemnity insurance market that provides the coverage needed by industry participants and building
  2. Establish a joint government-industry task force to oversee urgent and consistent implementation of all Shergold-Weir report recommendations across all

 

Signed:
Property Council of Australia
Insurance Council of Australia
Ai Group
Australian Construction Industry Forum
Master Builders Australia

Media contacts:
Ai Group: Tony Melville 0419 190 347
Insurance Council of Australia: Campbell Fuller 0407 170 500
Master Builders Australia: Ben Carter 0447 775 507
Property Council of Australia: Matt Francis 0467 777 220
Australian Construction Industry Forum: Stella McKinney 0423 663 544

NATIONAL PRESIDENT’S UPDATE

This has been a busy time for institute activities, the last three weeks have included attending the QLD Chapter – Professional Excellence Award dinner at the Pullman Hotel in Brisbane. I then travelled to Hong Kong for a 6 day stopover meeting up with the OS Chapter President – Norman Faifer and the CEO Greg Hughes. We completed a series of professional interviews over one and a half days in HK and the Macau Branch of the OS Chapter. We participated in the Annual Chapter Meeting to hear the Chapter year reports and see a new 2019 / 2020 committee installed, followed by a CPD presentation for the members. We hosted the 2nd Annual HK Chapter Awards which included both PEA projects and local education and student awards. As this was my first visit to the HK Chapter I was encouraged by the enthusiasm of our HK Chapter members. We also took the opportunity to catch up with kindred associations the HKICM and the HKICoW to discuss topics of closer association and event collaboration and we encouraged all building related connections to register for the Constructing our World Conference in Sydney.

I then travelled to Singapore for a 4 day stopover which allowed informal meetings with some of the SIBL board members who were available during this school holiday time in Singapore. Peter Chua and Henry Tee met with me to discuss the upcoming CoW program for Sydney. I provided supplementary materials and flyers for distribution by the Institute, and we discussed the forward planning timing for conference 3 of the CoW series scheduled in Singapore as part of our tri-partite conference agreement in 2021.

I then travelled to Perth for a 5 day stopover where Greg Hughes joined me to continue our industry representation discussions with the MBAWA Executive Director – John Gelavis. We also attended the WA Chapter Professional Excellence Awards dinner at the Westin in the Perth CBD. The change of venue, a full program and a great band at the end of official proceedings ensured that all attendees enjoyed a great night of celebration. (Photos of the night can be found here).

Insurance Issues for industry

We have now passed the 2nd July 2019 deadline on insurance and the reduction in cover and restrictions on Professional Indemnity [PI] insurance policies across the industry are a new reality for many members. Businesses and practitioners alike are still receiving a range of responses and unclear direction from all jurisdictions and the regulators responsible for the built environment.

NSW response to Shergold Weir Report

A NSW Chapter representative was able to attend the 2 July meeting at short notice to hear about the ‘Building Stronger Foundations’ discussion paper tabled recently by Kevin Anderson MP – Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation. The paper invites submissions from industry and community as part of the consultation process and the AIB will be providing a response with some input from the NSW Chapter by the closing date of 24 July 2019.

VBA has a new permit system

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has been preparing industry for important changes to Victoria’s building permit and levy laws, which commenced on 1 July 2019. These changes include the development of a new online platform for building permit number (BPN) applications, known as the Building Activity Management System (BAMS). So Building Practitioners and Owners have had just over a week of the new system in operation.

Advice from the VBA notes these Key Messages about the change:

  1. The VBA must issue a BPN before a relevant building surveyor (RBS) can issue a building permit.
  2. Building surveyors must provide all required information to the VBA, and the building permit levy must be paid, before the VBA will issue a BPN.
  3. Applicants are responsible for paying the levy; however, an RBS (or another nominated person) can pay the levy on an applicant’s behalf.
  4. Once a building permit is issued, the owner/applicant must monitor the cost of works and advise the VBA of the final cost of works.

We will update how this affects our Victorian members in coming eNews bulletins.

Advocate activities

We are scheduled to attend two important meetings in the next week:

  • The first is with Kevin Anderson MP – NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation. The AIB will have two NSW Chapter representatives plus our CEO – Greg Hughes and myself.
  • The second is an invitation to the next Building Ministers Forum round table meeting. Topics include Professional Indemnity Insurance and an update of Building Confidence implementation progress.

So the AIB will clearly continue to advocate for our membership to help resolve the issue of Building Industry Confidence, Standards and Professional Practice, Insurance for Professionals and the pathway to bring these matters into a workable and sustainable system. Industry input is clearly needed part of the solution, and the AIB does have a unique and wide focus given the range of our members experience and expertise includes construction management, planning and project management, costs and quality management and tertiary level educators.

Presidential duties in the last period has included:

  • Attendance with QLD Chapter committee members to update on activities and programs around the country;
  • Attending the QLD Chapter Awards in Brisbane with a great event hosted at the Pullman Ballroom that increased the opportunity for industry networking;
  • Meeting with the HK Chapter members and attending professional interviews for prospective members;
  • Attendance at annual chapter meeting and CPD event to finalise the incoming Chapter committee;
  • Attendance and presentation of the HK Chapter Awards at a cocktail function event;
  • Formal meetings with HKICM and HKICoW committee members to advance discussions around CoW Conference and future collaborative opportunities;
  • Meeting with the Macau Branch members and attending professional interviews for prospective members;
  • Attending an informal meeting and CoW presentation during a short stop in Singapore to discuss the SIBL input and support for our upcoming International Building Conference scheduled in Sydney this September;
  • Attendance with the CEO for a meeting with MBAWA to update on WA building activities and programs of shared interest / benefit;
  • Attending the WA Chapter Awards in Perth with 200 guests enjoying both the education and professional excellence awards presentations and finishing the night with live band ‘Beautiful Noise’ a great event hosted at the a new venue this year that continued the opportunity for industry networking

We are actively committed to communicating with ministers, regulators and kindred building associations about the important distinction of our Institute. Our professional network of AIB members include many Chartered Building Professionals. The AIB is committed to individuals who hold professional standing, continuing CPD and ongoing education as key components that allow our members to deliver a consistent professional service to both the building industry and the end consumer.

This month I would encourage you to book to attend your local Chapter award dinner and start planning for the International Conference in Sydney this September. Conference program details and bookings can be found here.

So I look forward to seeing you soon at an AIB event soon with our Professional Excellence Awards presentations this month in VIC and NSW Chapters.

David Burnell FAIB
National President, Australian Institute of Building

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo Credit: David Broadway Photography by Julius Pang)

QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT TO BAN COMBUSTIBLE CLADDING

Media Release

Minister for Housing and Public Works
Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Combustible cladding is set to be completely banned on all new Queensland buildings, following industry support for proposed new regulations that were discussed at yesterday’s Ministerial Construction Council.

Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni proposed the new regulation as part of a two-pronged approach to provide a lifeline to the State’s certifiers caught up in a shrinking insurance market.

The combustible cladding ban would extend to all aluminium composite panels with a PE core of greater than 30 per cent, and it would restrict usage across all buildings in Queensland.

Mr de Brenni said the proposals would help to protect Queenslanders, but called on the Commonwealth Government to protect Australians and introduce an importation ban on all aluminium composite panels with a PE core.

“I’ve made numerous calls on the Commonwealth to ban this combustible cladding at the border, they can’t keep dodging this responsibility to the people of Australia,” Mr de Brenni said.

“This is an opportunity to both reduce risk and back Australian manufacturing jobs, to which Prime Minister Scott Morrison should be jumping at the chance.

“And again, I call on Minister Karen Andrews to urgently address the issue at a national level, as the retraction of the insurance market has to be rectified by the Federal Treasury.”

The proposals discussed at yesterday’s meeting include also requiring certifiers to declare that combustible cladding hasn’t been used, and that there hasn’t been any product substitution during the construction process.

The other key solution to help certifiers proposed by the Queensland Government during the industry meeting, was to allow certifiers to remain licensed while they are holding professional indemnity (PI) insurance featuring cladding related exclusions.

Mr de Brenni said the ban on combustible cladding paved the way for the Queensland Government to allow certifiers to hold PI insurance with exclusions.

“By banning combustible cladding on new construction in Queensland, it means there doesn’t need to be an expense for certifiers in the form of exclusion free insurance,” Mr de Brenni said.

“However, allowing insurance with exclusions is a time-limited solution that provides the industry with immediate confidence to continue operating.

“These proposals are designed to ensure that jobs growth in Queensland doesn’t slow and construction industry practitioners continue to remain in the industry.

“We’ve already seen insurers attempting to cut and run from the market by withdrawing their insurance products and that means they escape their obligations, and that’s not on.

“This has put at risk hundreds of thousands of jobs in the sector and it’s got the potential to impact homeowners who would be left holding the can if they have to pursue litigation with dodgy buildings.

“Certifiers provide a level of protection for homeowners and we need to keep them in the industry.

“It means that as of today, the 400 licensed certifiers in Queensland will continue to be able to work tomorrow, and that means our record on job creation will continue, however subject to stringent conditions.

“The restrictions are part of the immediate term resolution of the issues to be followed by a suite of longer term system reform approaches including continuing to pursue a national ban on the importation of dodgy cladding.

“Prime Minister Morrison has a chance here to help rebuild confidence in the industry and back in local manufacturing jobs by banning dodgy cladding that fails community standards, but in the meantime we will have to impose extra requirements on the sector.”

Yesterday’s proposals followed a number of weeks’ discussion with industry leaders on solutions to the certifier insurance issue.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers report released by the Palaszczuk Government yesterday shines a light on the effects caused by the deregulation of the Australian construction industry.

“Building industry professionals, from architects, to engineers and building certifiers, plus developers, play a pivotal role in ensuring that the built environment is safe and fit-for-purpose.”

Mr de Brenni said PwC’s analysis showed the issue was not limited to Queensland, but a national issue affecting the building industry in all states and territories.

“Queensland has continued to work with industry on this issue,” he said. “I am committed to ensuring the viability of Queensland’s building and construction industry and am invested in ensuring the most appropriate and considered approach is taken to this situation.

“Queensland has led the way on behalf of the Building Ministers’ Forum for permanent labelling of aluminium composite panels, reducing the issues found through investigations around product substitution.

“But whilst Queensland leads the nation with building industry reforms, there is still more work to be done.”

 

ENDS

Media contact Rosie Gilbert 0466 834 330

“The Government will now consider the in-depth recommendations before deciding on the next steps.”

2019 WA PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE IN BUILDING AWARDS RESULTS

The West Australian Chapter held their Professional Excellence in Building Awards last Saturday 29 June at The Westin in Perth.

The night proved to be a great success! Check out the photos from the night here.

A special mention to the 2019 West Australian Building Professional of the Year – Chris Owen from Broad Construction for his Campus Perth 80 Stirling Street project.

The full list of winners can be found here

NEW BUILDING WEBSITE TO IMPROVE CONSUMER AND INDUSTRY AWARENESS

Media Release

 

Gordon Ramsay MLA
Attorney-General
Minister for the Arts and Cultural Events
Minister for Building Quality Improvement
Minister for Business and Regulatory Services
Minister for Seniors and Veterans

 

The ACT Government has today launched a new website designed to raise awareness and provide educational outcomes about consumer and industry requirements in the ACT construction sector.

The launch of the website comes as the Government continues its commitment to reform the building industry by making it easier for consumers and businesses to access important information.

Importantly, the website details what is required of builders, developers and consumers when considering what is required to build, buy or renovate in the ACT.

Additionally, the website has easy to access links detailing dispute resolution processes for consumers, as well as other important information like the disciplinary register and a register of licensed practitioners.

Minister for Building Quality Improvement Gordon Ramsay encouraged consumers to thoroughly investigate the work history of who they were choosing to hire when they were building a new home, or who has built a property they were considering purchasing.

“Canberrans should expect that their housing is safe and of an appropriate standard. Our city is growing fast, and we need to have building work that meets both ACT and National standards,” Minister Ramsay said.

“We want a community that is empowered, where people have all the information they need and understand their rights and responsibilities when embarking on a purchase or renovation project.

“To assist Canberrans in finding out about all things ‘building’ we have created a one-stop website for consumers and industry members to find out the relevant policy and regulation that applies in the ACT.

“If you are looking for a builder – we have made it even easier to search for a licensed professional via our database as well as make an enquiry or lodge a complaint if necessary.”

Minister Ramsay said information on the website would continue to be enhanced and resources added over the coming months, including videos and other user-friendly resources.

For more information visit: www.act.gov.au/buildbuyrenovate

Media contact: Anton Gallacher          T (02) 6207 3795      M 0422 574108      anton.gallacher@act.gov.au

2019 QLD PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE IN BUILDING AWARDS RESULTS

The Queensland Chapter held their Professional Excellence in Building Awards last Friday 14 June at the Pullman Hotel in Brisbane.

The night proved to be a great success! Check out the photos from the night here.

A special mention to the 2019 Queensland Building Professional of the Year – Glenn Robinson from Multiplex for his 300 George Street Stage 1 – W Hotel and Brisbane Quarter project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The full list of winners can be found here

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INACTION AFTER GRENFELL TOWER TRAGEDY PUTS QLD AT RISK

Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Media Release

Federal Government Inaction After Grenfell Tower Tragedy Puts Queenslanders At Risk

Two years on from the Grenfell Tower inferno in London, the global aftershocks are pushing Queensland’s building industry into an insurance crisis.

To protect the community and stabilise the building industry, the Queensland Government is considering ending the use of provisions that have allowed combustible cladding on buildings over three storeys.

Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni has called an urgent extraordinary meeting of his Ministerial Construction Council (MCC) to discuss a range of measures to stop construction works in Queensland from grinding to a standstill.

“The Queensland building and construction industry employs 230,000 Queenslanders and unrectified combustible cladding poses a risk to tradies and Queenslanders where they live and work.

“For too long “creative solutions”, including performance solutions, that allow combustible cladding to be installed on high-rise buildings have been permeating the industry and the State’s built environment.

“Due to the Morrison Government’s inaction we’ve got to the point where combustible cladding is causing insurance companies to exit the market and crank up their charges to certifiers,” he said.

“We’ve had reports of some insurance premiums increasing by thousands of dollars, some by up to 226 per cent more than the previous year.

‘Our certifiers keep the building industry ticking and the Palaszczuk Government will not see Queenslanders out of work due to federal inaction on this issue.

“The era of “bendable rules” must finish. Complacency and the misuse of performance-based solutions has seen buildings in Australia clad in solid petrol,” Mr de Brenni said. “I think Queenslanders would want us to simply outlaw that practice if it will remove the risk of a cladding disaster and stabilise our vital building industry.”

Banning performance solutions is a move which has already been introduced by the West Australian government, and local industry reports that it is an approach that is working well.

“Queensland may join WA in departing from key elements of the Canberra-developed building code.

“The National Construction Code was a good idea but has become a vehicle for reckless industry practises and deregulation by stealth.

“It’s all very well for the Federal Government to claim a failing by the states but when the rule book is so loose and open to interpretation, then the Commonwealth must tighten those rules or realise the state governments will have to deal with the unacceptable ambiguities.

“Our priority has to be about people, profits have taken centre stage in this sector for too long,” Mr de Brenni said.

“It’s just as important that we support Queensland’s $45 billion building and construction industry and keep it operating sustainably and safely and this means keeping certifiers in business.”

Mr de Brenni said the insurance crisis for certifiers has been triggered by the insurance industry reacting to the combustible cladding scandal.

“The Federal Government has failed to ban the importation of dodgy combustible cladding despite the risks it presents, so the State Government will be ensuring the Queensland community is protected.

“Some industry groups have been calling for the government to allow certifiers to approve buildings without adequate professional indemnity insurance.

“If this means allowing insurance policy with exclusions then the only way I think this would be satisfactory to the public would be if we removed the ability to use high-risk products on high-rise buildings. This means banning the use of performance solutions or alternative methods of compliance to the law.”

A raft of recommendations from an independent PricewaterhouseCoopers report into the insurance issue will be considered at the MCC meeting on Tuesday 18 June 2019, along with other measures including:

  • Changing licensing rules for certifiers to allow them to practice with exclusion in their mandatory profession indemnity insurance.
  • the creation of a national professional standards body for certifiers, much like that which exists for lawyers, solicitors, architects, and engineers;
  • expediting a permanent labelling system for Aluminium Composite Panels in Australia to prevent substitution;
  • and establishing a model to indemnify certifiers who are involved in combustible cladding rectification or remediation work on buildings.

PRE-FAB INNOVATION LAB FOR BUILDING INDUSTRY

The Hon Karen Andrews MP
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology
Federal Member for McPherson

MEDIA RELEASE

 

PRE-FAB INNOVATION LAB FOR BUILDING INDUSTRY

The Morrison Government is backing Australia’s manufacturing and building and construction sectors, with support for the prefabricated building industry.

Up to $2 million will be spent developing a new collaborative lab to help manufacturers design innovative new prefabricated buildings that are more eco-friendly, affordable and can significantly reduce times for construction.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the new lab would support work on a wide range of buildings, including tiny houses, larger homes and offices and strengthen Australia’s position in the global prefabricated building market.

“This sector is starting to build significant momentum and currently represents 3-5 per cent of Australia’s $150 billion construction industry,” Minister Andrews said.

“This share could grow to 15 per cent by 2025, creating 20,000 new Australian jobs and adding $30 billion to our economy.

“The Morrison Government is committed to helping support and grow this emerging industry and ensure Australia seizes this opportunity.”

The prefabricated modular building industry includes modular houses and offices created in a factory setting and then transported directly to site.

To kick-start this new project, the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre will receive up to $2 million in funding to undertake a feasibility study and, based on the findings, establish a collaborative innovation lab.

The Coalition is already supporting leading research in this area, announcing $4 million in funding to the Australian Research Council Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing.

The Morrison Government is committed to Australia’s advanced manufacturing sector, as part of our plan to grow the economy and create 1.25 million new jobs over the next five years.

Media Contact: Valeria Cheglov 0438 494 351 / Keegan Buzza 0447 697 846 Office of the Hon Karen Andrews MP, Member for McPherson, Varsity Lakes, QLD