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


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


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

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


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


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


The Australian Honours system celebrates individuals who rise above the everyday and mark the extraordinary in our society. Awards were announced on Australia Day 2019.

Members of the AIB received the following awards, Congratulations to:

Brian Seidler – AM FAIB 
For significant service to the building and construction industry through professional organisations.
New South Wales

John William Smolders – AM FAIB 
For significant service to the building and construction industry, and to higher education.
New South Wales

John Richard Mason – OAM FAIB
For service to the community.

Richard Alan Smith – OAM FAIB 
For service to the building and construction industry, and to heritage preservation.
South Australia

James Whiting – OAM FAIB
For service to the building and construction industry.
South Australia

View the full Honours list here.


As the industry starts to waken for another year and we get rid of the sand between our toes from the family break, a couple of things to mention first up.

The 2019 Professional Excellence in Building Awards is now in full swing – but get ready, THINGS ARE DIFFERENT!

By this, I mean that we are now digital and this is good news for you. With a far more advanced system (Award Force) that will ultimately save you time and money when preparing your entry, we’re sure that you will want to keep coming back to lodge more entries in Australia’s premier Awards program – specifically designed for the recognition of the Building Professional.

Remember, submissions are now open and must close 15 March 2019. Our first Awards event this year will be in Canberra on 23rd May – details of all events will appear in the not too distant future on our website. I am also happy to let you know that Hong Kong will again be a part of our Awards program. On the strength of last year’s event and feedback, we are planning a bigger and better event come mid-year with our many members in South East Asia.

In other news, the release of two significant publications by the Australasian BIM Advisory Board should play a major part in furthering building information modelling in Australia.

The first of these is the Asset Information Requirements Guide: Information required for the operation and maintenance of an asset. This Guide identifies the asset information components that are expected to be delivered in response to asset information requirements (AIR), namely, models, documents and data. It explains the basic concepts of digital information management (e.g. structured data) for those new to the subject and seeks to dispel common misconceptions about the roles played in AM/FM by tools such as Building Information Modelling (BIM).The vision is to build a BIM process consistency framework, together with the private sector, that sets the national standard. Encouraging BIM process consistency represents the construction sector’s greatest opportunity to realise the benefits of BIM.

The second of these publications is BIM Process Consistency: Towards a Common Framework for Digital Design, Construction and Operation. A Common Framework will help governments and industry adopt, implement and align the use of BIM on public projects. In doing so, government and industry will have greater control over quality and achieving financial and strategic expectations. A Common Framework will drive savings and efficiencies, and support small to medium enterprises (SMEs) transition to the BIM environment – the new way of doing business in the construction industry.

Come mid next month, we will start to send out our membership subscriptions for the 2019/2020 year. So with this in mind, it is important to keep all your contact details up to date. Simply head to our website and log in if you need to update this information, or contact our office (02) 6253 1100 or, you can email

And finally, a warm welcome to DesignBUILD – our newest Corporate Partner to join the AIB. In coming months, there will be a lot of great things to share with you, however none more important than the DesignBUILD expo which is set down for May this year.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone.

Greg Hughes


As I alluded to in my last E News column, I can now confirm that we have invested in a new system that will make it significantly easier and smoother when it comes to submitting an entry for the AIB Professional Excellence Awards.

What this means in real terms is ‘Award Force’ will now:

  • Save time and money on administration for the user
  • Create a great experience for our community of entrants and judges of the Awards program
  • See an increase in participation levels of the Awards program
  • Be a system that delivers under pressure

With all of this in mind, we will soon be opening nominations for next year’s Awards with a deadline for submissions of March 2019.

I am also pleased to share with you our new branding for our National Professional Excellence Awards program. This symbolises the ‘building blocks’ of our organisation as we continue to grow and prosper. All staff and a body of dedicated volunteers continue to work hard in changing the face of the organisation as well as how it is regarded in the general marketplace.

While we certainly have not arrived, the journey is well and truly underway.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone.

Greg Hughes

Optus Stadium Named World’s Best In International Awards

Optus Stadium has won the Project of the Year at the world’s leading stadium industry awards, beating out international competition and securing a remarkable 27th accolade since opening in January.

The award, presented at TheStadiumBusiness Awards in London on Tuesday (November 13), recognised Optus Stadium for excellence in a new stadium build or expansion which has delivered on all its goals and more.

Optus Stadium beat stiff competition from the United States of America and Malaysia in the category, including Kuala Lumpur Sports City; Fiserv Forum (Milwaukee); Little Caesars Arena (Detroit); Louis Armstrong Arena (New York); Audi Field (Washington DC); and SunTrust Park (Atlanta).

The award is Optus Stadium’s 27th for the year having previously won State, national and international awards for tourism, architecture, catering, landscaping, design, building and construction.

Agent General for Western Australia Mike Deeks attended the event and accepted the award on behalf of the State Government.

Launched in 2010, TheStadiumBusiness Awards are the first industry awards nominated by the stadium sector and recognise leadership, innovation and achievement in the design, development and construction of major sports facilities.

For a full list of the awards Optus Stadium has won during its first year, visit

Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:

“The State Government and VenuesLive have overseen an incredibly successful commissioning and first year of operations at Optus Stadium.

“Being awarded the world’s best in these awards reflects the hard work undertaken by everyone involved in Optus Stadium’s first year of operations.

“This award confirms Optus Stadium’s status as a truly world-class venue, and one all Western Australians can be proud of.”

Minister’s office – 6552 6400


On the strength of a recent meeting with the office of the Minister of Industry, Science and Technology recently, we were invited back last week to meet with Ian Adam, adviser to Karen Andrews MP and Rodney Harris, Acting Manager, Building Industry Section in the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. We met with National President, David Burnell and ACIF Director, James Cameron.

Some of the points discussed included:
• The Minister has been briefed on the Shergold-Weir Report
• The report is a blueprint for reform which the Government paid for and we were assured would not be shelved. There also seems to be bipartisan support for the Shergold-Weir Report
• As part of implementing the recommendations, the Australian Building Codes Board is currently working on simplifying and digitising the National Construction Code, which should help on construction sites and with training
• The next Building Ministers’ Forum will be in early 2019 and they are again looking at having another BMF-Industry Forum at which the AIB will have a seat
• The National Construction Code 2019 is a priority for the Minister
• The Minister has also been briefed on the John Murray Report on Security of Payment laws. Harmonisation of security of payment laws will take some time, but to have common principles is a good step forward
• The planned release date for the (much-delayed) Senate report on Non-Conforming Building Products is 27 November 2018
• There is a commitment from the BMF to investigate greater national consistency with licensing

Finally this week, a reminder that (can you believe it already!) we will open entries soon for the 2019 Professional Excellence Awards. In the lead up to the Awards, I am happy to share with you that we are working towards simplifying the entry process and making this less onerous and will also launch a ‘brand’ for the Awards for the first time. We are excited how the program continues to evolve and hope that you embrace this in 2019.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone,

Greg Hughes