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 

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)

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

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

2019 SA PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE IN BUILDING AWARDS RESULTS

The South Australian Chapter held their Professional Excellence in Building Awards last Friday 31 May at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide.

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

 

A special mention to the 2019 South Australia Building Professional of the Year – Tony Swan from Hansen Yuncken for his UniSA Cancer Research Institute project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judges comment:

“This year we had a pleasing response with high quality submissions in all categories. This in itself created quite a challenge for our five judges all bringing their wealth of experience to balance the panels determination of awards for the successful recipients.

What stood out this year was the highly competitive quality of the submissions incorporating well considered responses backed up with positive client testimonies.

A special thanks to Alanna Brooks, our National Awards Coordinator and all the SA judges; Geoff Penley, Tim Readman, Fred Silz, Richard Smith & Jeanie Elliot,  for what was an intense period of time to review the 26 entries.

Winning an AIB Professional Excellence or High Commendation Award is cause for celebration and a true testimony to the achievements of the project teams meeting time, cost quality & environmental objectives”. 

The full list of winners can be found here

THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT – MONTH THAT WAS

14 May 2019

This has been a busy time for institute activities, our Chapters are well advanced on preparations for the various Professional Excellence Awards presentation events. In the last few weeks our AIB representation and promotion opportunities have seen a bit of travel for both the CEO and myself.

We have also looked at the opportunities to advance the work of the NBPR with building regulators; in raising the profile of the register we show and how this may assist each jurisdiction to better utilise an external reference point for licencing and renewal checks. We firmly believe the holders of any form of building licence should also belong to a professional body like the AIB and be committed to annual CPD as part of the licence renewal / retention requirements.

All jurisdictions however still operate silos of licence holders and the adoption of a National Licencing approach under the work of the Building Ministers Forum would go a significant way towards addressing recommendations 1, 2 and 3 of the Shergold – Weir report which has now been in circulation for 15 months.

Presidential duties in the last period has included:

  • involvement in an NBPR briefing with our National Chair – Tony Avsec FAIB;
  • review of the Constructing our World program and assisting our Conference Chair – Dr. Robyn Hardy FAIB with speaker material and content to finalise the line-up of presenters;
  • a visit to Perth for meetings with the Head of School at Curtin University;
  • meeting with the WA Building Regulators office to discuss Shergold-Weir and general industry issues for the local market;
  • attendance at the WA Chapter annual Industry Leaders Dinner:
  • attendance at the local WA Chapter committee meeting presentation on the WA perspective for AIB activities, and to provide some information and context for the National AIB activities to support the WA Chapter;
  • planning and teleconference meetings for the DesignBUILD conference which commenced today, 14 May – 16 May in Sydney. I am presenting on an industry panel on Wednesday 15th discussing Building Australia Together.

Personally work and home duties also make up a significant part of my time outside of AIB commitments. I happen to be moving house this week to downsize from a large family home. In the required cull of stored material, I came across a presentation I made as a representative of the building industry in 1987 (some 32 years ago) this month.

The event was a week-long Forum at Melbourne University that gathered 100 young leaders from around Australia to discuss the current issues facing Australia and the possibilities of solving them in the future.

The Forum was specifically developed to:

  • promote standards of excellence and achievement in education, training and development of young Australians in their chosen vocation, and to develop a sense of purpose among individuals,
  • involve young people in the life and welfare of the community by assisting them to render service where need, hardship and distress exist, thus increasing their sense of responsibility and their awareness of the interdependence between themselves and the community,
  • assist the funding of projects or activities of organisations which benefit young people, particularly those aimed at developing qualities of self-reliance, initiative and leadership

One of the QE II Trust’s projects is the “Future Perspectives” apolitical Forum for young Australians who are perceived to be the potential leaders of this country.

Objectives of the Forum included:

  • to draw together potential leaders in the 22 – 28 years age group from widely diverse working background;
  • to develop in these young Australians a better understanding of the complex issues facing Australia today and the possibilities of solving them in the future;
  • to encourage them to work for the future of Australia;
  • to develop in these potential leaders a sense of unity and understanding, which can be communicated to others.

My summation for the final session as the leader of Syndicate 2 included some hauntingly familiar observations taken from our group discussions about the times we were observing then in 1987. While time moves on, these are still lessons and comments that could be applied to the Building Industry today.

… The economy. Australia has historically had dependence on primary industry and we are now seeing a trend towards developing our service industries. This feature will become more important as our product Australia develops in the future. Our energy should be focused towards this industry to ensure we are skilled and this places us in an advantageous position in the market place.

… Our economy is on a gradual downward slide and we have experienced it before, and as a country we must tighten our belts, work more intelligently rather than harder and educate people on the workings of the economy, and why we are suffering economically.

… Militant unions should not be capable of holding businesses or the country to ransom, nor should they try to be capable of manipulating foreign policy by selective trade bans.

… In   conclusion, we believe that all major changes which need to be made in Australia are in the area of education and we are not talking about the education system and mechanics as such, but about the ongoing holistic process of community education beginning at birth and involving all aspects of society. We see a need for Australians to be educated to act and to think as a community, not just as individuals. We need to strive for a society made up of caring individuals who are aware of their important individual role as part of the community. We believe Australia should set an example to the rest of the world and we have been reassured this week by many speakers that Australia is one of the better societies of the world.

 

How do we communicate this message to those outside our professional network that an AIB member is a Chartered Building Professional who understands the need to deliver a consistent professional service to both the building industry and the end consumer. We see opportunities to work with designers, builders and other professions that can improve how they work together on projects that provide a better result for the end user – and are easier to deliver for everyone involved.

We believe all jurisdictions must recognise this significant National Opportunity is currently wasted as it continues to operate in a multiple regulatory framework, which was largely tailored on small scale circumstances historically. We have innovators utilising improved building materials and practices but regulation and historical attitudes are still focused on 1980’s methods of management and delivery; to a 21st century consumer who sees the better alternatives on the world market that he can now access.

Finally, a reminder that our Membership subscriptions are now due and I would encourage members to contact the National Office on 02 6253 1100 if you have not yet seen an email from us with your invoice attached. We have had several reports of payments being returned to members when the banks have not matched our account details to the BPay biller code 716597 as this was an older MYOB gateway provider used in previous years. 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 using the Pay Membership Fee link while you are logged in 

So I look forward to seeing you soon at an AIB event soon as we start our Professional Excellence Awards presentations this month in ACT and SA Chapters.

David Burnell FAIB

National President, Australian Institute of Building

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

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

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

One of the things that I am most look forward to in this role is working with an energetic and strategic thinking National Board – or as we like to call it, National Council. Every now and again in my E News column, I will introduce you to a Council member so you can get to know a little more of their background and in essence, what they stand for and what they would like to bring to the AIB.

This week, I catch up with Tamica D’Uva from Western Australia.

The AIB is part of the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) – where we are currently developing a suite of policy priorities leading up to the next federal election.

In saying this, we would be keen to hear your views on procurement issues of concern, for example; product conformance and compliance, allocation of risk, adequate documentation, poor payment practices, non – standard contract conditions etc.

Your views will then feed into a specific policy that we can lobby government with. Please send your views and concerns to ceo@aib.org.au.

And finally, don’t say you weren’t warned –  Entries for the 2019 Professional Excellence Awards close on the 15th of March! (all entries must be completed by this date, not just started). I trust that you will not only enter, but encourage others to do so and be a part of a great program! Start and complete your entry here.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone.

Greg Hughes

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

One of the first significant meetings of the year was the Building Ministers Forum held in Hobart last week, where state and territory Ministers gathered to talk about a myriad of current issues confronting the profession. National President, David Burnell attended the meeting and I have asked him to give us a brief overview of what transpired at the meeting. The AIB was a participant of the morning session alongside other allied associations:

We were asked to report on … What is industry doing to support cultural change?
While the direct response from AIB touched on the active work we are involved in, our representation for the benefit of the construction industry was around our participation and contribution to the work of both the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) and Standards Australia (SA).

We also highlighted the series of information and CPD training events we have hosted that directly supporting the Shergold – Weir report:

  • Bronwyn Weir presenting about her report in detail;
  • A Legal Masterclass presentation;
  • A Flammable Aluminium Composite Cladding information seminar;
  • The Top 10 legal issues for 2018 which focused on cladding and non-compliant building products co-hosted with Minter Ellison;
  • Building Regulatory Reform in Australia presented by Wayne Liddy a senior AIBS practitioner;
  • Cladding presentations and fire safety and engineering discussions around the code and identifying compliant cladding products presented by Jonathan Barnett;
  • We are currently attempting to arrange a series of presentations for each State by the Hon. John Fahey to talk about the ABCB’s response to Shergold – Weir.

The industry presentations from all other groups then consistently echoed the same themes expressed within the AIB closing remarks. Read full report.

And finally this week, there is just one month left to get your entries in for this year’s Professional Excellence Awards. Don’t delay in getting that recognition that you and or your colleagues so richly deserve. Head to our website for all the details on how to enter.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone

Greg Hughes

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

I am genuinely looking forward to working a full and productive year alongside National President, David Burnell. Of particular note this year will be initiatives such as:

-The trial of a National Mentoring program
-A more streamlined Professional Excellence Awards program
-The establishment of an online forum with the National President
-The staging of Constructing Our World in September
-A ramping up of our Advocacy program with Federal Government – this particularly so as we head toward a federal election

Speaking of advocacy, the next Building Minister’s Forum (BMF) is scheduled to be held in Tasmania on February 8. This is an important meeting where state and territory Building/Planning Ministers discuss issues of commonality etc but importantly, the ongoing work post the release of the Shergold Weir Report.

Also in attendance will be many of the industry heads (including the AIB) flying the flag and ensuring that we have a voice at the table. I’ll be sure to bring you some of the outcomes of this get together.

I can’t finish without mentioning again that you need to get your submission together now for the upcoming Professional Excellence in Building Awards. Head to the PEA page of our website – try out our new entry system (you’ll be pleasantly surprised!) and standby to be recognised in Australia’s premier awards program for the building professional.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone.

Greg Hughes