The 2021 AIB Professional Excellence Awards are opening next week.

I am pleased to advise that our Professional Excellence Awards are opening next week with the release of the 2021 Entry Handbook with some exciting new categories. Please keep out an eye out on our Awards Website for more information.

After a difficult year, we are seeing some cautious optimism in the industry as pipelines slowly open-up around Australia. We are certainly looking forward to a record number of entries and some spectacular events this year where we acknowledge the best of the best. All the details of how to enter will be in the Handbook and at that time, on our Awards website.

We have pleasure in congratulating a Fellow of the AIB who was recently honoured in the Australia Day Honours list. Dr Ronald Webber (Ron) was recognized for his significant contribution to building and construction by being awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
Ron is one of those rare people in the industry who has been able to successfully combine hands on building expertise and experience with academia at the highest levels.

About Ron Webber

Dr. Ronald J. Webber AM FAIB has been involved in the construction industry as a professional for some 40 years. Ron has undergraduate qualifications in Building, Building Surveying, Building Design, and Education. Additionally, he has postgraduate qualifications in Business Administration and Project Management and his doctorate thesis related to Microeconomic Reforms into the building regulative system.

Dr. Webber is a fellow and previous National Vice President of the Royal Australian Institute of Building, as well as being a fellow of the following institutes:
• Royal Chartered Institute of Surveyors
• Chartered Institute of Building
• Australian Institute of Building Surveyors
• Australian Institute of Project Managers
• Royal Society of New South Wales

Throughout Ron’s career, he has participated in a variety of projects within the industry. Ron was employed with the Department of Justice as the Program Manager – Building. As part of the senior management group, he provided advice on all aspects of building-related regulative policy. He worked with various stakeholders to achieve the strategic objectives of the department and for the betterment of consumers and builders.

He has also conducted several research studies with the most notable being the lack of ablution facilities for women in public buildings for the Victoria Depart of Planning as it was then known. This study informed changes to the then BCA. He conducted research for the Queensland government which was instrumental to the introduction of smoke detectors in that State and this accounting for many saved lives through their introduction. Ron’s research tends to focus on outcomes that benefit the community.

Throughout his academic career, he has been employed at major Australian Universities including Western Sydney University, the University of Canberra, and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Dr. Ronald Webber currently holds the position of Associate Professor in Construction Management and Building Surveying at Central Queensland University as well being the Chair of the AIB’s Course Accreditation Committee.

I am indeed looking forward to working with you all once again and wish you and your families all the best for a safe and prosperous 2021. All the best.

Geoff Dart


Welcome to our last message leading up to, I am sure, a long-awaited Christmas and New Year festivity season with family and friends. COVID-19 has certainly thrown up challenges and tested our mettle and resolve with members and industry responding extremely well. This has enabled the economy to keep ticking over through professionalism, quality of work, on time project completion and dedication.

During these times, we were very pleased to be able to deliver our Professional Excellence in Building Awards across Australia with the National Awards Live-streamed through YouTube on November 20. In case you missed the event, you can still view the Awards presentations via YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWRoLqShOZk

We are now planning the AIB 2021 Awards and will be in touch in the New Year with details of this exciting and much anticipated event.

On behalf of us all at the AIB, I would like to thank you for your support and valuable contribution. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy, prosperous New Year.

Kind Regards,

Geoff Dart


Firstly, I would like to thank all members and their companies who entered projects, and their respective project managers, in AIB’s prestigious Professional Excellence in Building Awards.

The entrants were of an exceptionally high standard and testament to the depth of talent within our membership and broader building and construction community.

Amidst the challenges facing our industry, as we gradually move to more stability and emerging pipeline of building and construction projects, we cannot lose sight of the longer-term objectives of social and economic reform. The construction industry employs 1.2 million people, accounts for  9% ($380 billion) of Australia’s GDP and key to the road to recovery and employment growth.

Implicit in this, is leading and embracing sustainability in all aspects from conception, site selection, design, building and eventual occupancy and lifecycle of residential and commercial buildings. In the author’s view, we also need to consider the size and purpose of all buildings considering permanent changes in working, living, and learning patterns because of CV-19.

What will this look like?

Shorter office buildings, regional hubs, larger homes, fewer shops.

As recently reported, Victorian government announced a $797 million energy efficiency affordability package. This sets minimum energy standards with five stars for rental properties and seven stars for new builds and is also significant policy that can advance sustainability in retrofits and transform infrastructure.

This comes as part and parcel of Victorian and NSW Governments’ significant investments in harnessing the power of energy efficiency and social housing to create jobs and drive economic recovery. The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, Energy Efficiency Council, Green Building Council Australia, and Property Council of Australia welcomed the multi-billion commitments to a more sustainable future.

Commercial building is no exception and we, as industry leading building professionals, can develop solutions and guide architects as to the ways in which buildings can embrace technology and energy saving solutions for the betterment of occupants and the broader community.

The New Year will  bring new initiatives to our members and high on the agenda is a webinar being planned,  “Global trends in Sustainable Building”.  Enjoy the National Awards and please feel free to reach out at any time.


Geoff Dart
Executive Director
0427 306 557


A big thank you to Abbey, our National Awards Coordinator, and the Chapters for their support and effort in bringing the 2020 Awards to fruition. We have all been impacted to varying degrees by COVID-19, with 2020 a year like no other. Amidst this, we have worked hard with members, entrants and sponsors to ensure AIB delivers a memorable event. This has meant the NSW, Victorian and Tasmanian Chapters have gone “Virtual”, a first for all of us, with the National Awards also being steamed live via You Tube 7pm, 20 November.

Our WA, ACT and Queensland Chapters have been able to organise their events as “Live” Awards and have also done an amazing job under difficult circumstances.  I would encourage you to join in, whether “Live” or “Virtual”, with your colleagues, families and  friends to support these fabulous events.

As industry leader, with a depth understanding of social and economic drivers, AIB has commenced lobbying Government for investment in local manufacturing. Construction has been overlooked as a strategic area of investment and one that employs 1.2 million hard-working Australians. This is exacerbated by the diversion of funds away from local manufacturing to cheaper imports from China. This has a multiplier effect, impacting the growth of local manufacture, employment and increase in household incomes for those folk working in and around the building and construction industry.

The unnecessary pursuit of cheaper products and materials from China is evidenced in the behaviour in certain segments of the industry where a tender is won by a builder and then local supply substituted for cheaper products from China. This “saving” quickly evaporates when we consider the impact of lost income to the economy, for reasons mentioned, along with self-sufficiency, skill development and providing careers for the apprentices, tradespeople and building professionals.

Where we have capacity and capability, lost revenue is conservatively estimated at $4.45 billion. That is, 5% of the $89 billion spent on materials and products for all sectors of building and construction. A recent Centre for Future Work report shows Australia last in the OECD for manufacturing self-sufficiency, and with a trade deficit in manufactures of $180 billion.

Certain details of the taskforce’s final report and its recommendation to grow the sector have leaked, such as a description of the potential for 495,000 new jobs over the decade, based on — among other things — cheaper gas supplies.

Government has shown oversight in key areas including regulation around local content, funding support to increase local manufacturing and embargos on designated products and materials from China. The construction industry stalled during the early stages of the pandemic as factories in China closed down and proved the value of local manufacturing.

Th role of the AIB is to work with Government and industry to provide guidance and understanding of the socio-economic drivers and changes that can be made to address behaviour and decision-making to improve the health and profitability of the industry.

Geoff Dart
Executive Director


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines for the Building and Construction Industry Victoria (Revision 8) are now released together with an Explanatory Note.

Please note that these updated Guidelines have application immediately and are not conditional upon moving to Third stage. They apply from now.

It is anticipated that Revision 8 can remain in place now for some time, however it will of course remain under regular review.

As per advice from the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions at the Industry Working Group meeting yesterday it is anticipated that the outstanding corrections/updates to the FAQ’s for Construction and the High Risk COVIDSafe Plan for Construction will be uploaded shortly.

Presentations made at  yesterday’s meeting from The Department of Justice, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and WorkSafe will be distributed once we receive them.

Also below is a brief summary prepared by DHHS of the main features for each sector once Open is declared.

At this point we have no knowledge of what announcements might be made on Sunday.

Industry Guidelines Rev 8 Final 16 October 2020

Explanatory Note for V8 16 October 2020 pp final

Open Requirements once declared – 161020



AIB Executive Director’s response to Transcript of House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities – Options for Financing Faster Rail.

Australian Institute of Building (AIB), the professional body for building practitioners, assist the construction industry to advance through learning. The AIB, through its members, strive for continuous improvement and in doing so, learn from mistakes of the past and  ensure they are not repeated. Most importantly, that government, private enterprise, and industry bodies plan the future collaboratively.

As a society and economy, we cannot afford to waste the opportunity to plan and maximise the significant investment due to short-term thinking. A “Faster Rail” is short-term thinking when the bigger picture is a VFT. Currently, each state is doing its own thing in relation to rail and infrastructure projects, with, in AIB’s view, no master plan. The last time this happened, Australia ended up with three different rail gauges.

History shows that short-term thinking in Infrastructure and projects has led to inadequate public transport, housing, and health facilities. More so, not cognisant of socio-economic and environmental factors that have been mounting for decades.

Australia is expected to be home to 30.0 million in 2031, an increase of 4.4 million on today’s number of 25.6 million. Where these Australians be living, working, traveling to and from, learning and accessing health services will depend on how government, enterprise, and professional industry bodies such as AIB, work together.

A VFT network can underpin a de-centralisation policy that delivers social and economic benefits by way of affordable housing and restricting the urban sprawls, and consequences, of Sydney and Melbourne.  Examples may include Goulburn in NSW and Seymour in Victoria where travel on a VFT to respective hubs in Parramatta and Sunbury is less than an hour away.

These hubs are growth corridors for a range of transport, manufacturing, and service industries and subject to current and planned investment. With significant support from state and federal governments across a range of construction activities, the AIB warns of an impending labour shortage by 2022.  In both instances, construction and investment is going west for reasons mentioned and will be restricted if the labour pool is too shallow.

The warning signs are there. Over-crowding in Sydney and Melbourne with increases in cost of housing as a percentage of household income for renters and owners. Most importantly, a lack of social housing (low income and the homeless) when a solution is in sight. All that is required is an understanding of the broader socio-economic factors inherent in a national, collaborative approach to the VFT and forward thinking.

Geoff Dart
AIB, Executive Director


Thursday, 17 September 2020
  • Training enrolments up by 20 per cent as a result of heavily reduced course fees
  • TAFE fees for 34 courses reduced by up to 50 per cent from January 1, with an additional 39 courses reduced by up to 72 per cent in July
  • Biggest enrolment growth in priority industries including electrician, civil construction and hospitality
  • $57 million investment in training driving demand to TAFE and private providers

Training enrolments in priority courses have increased by more than 20 per cent since the start of the year as a result of the McGowan Government’s huge cuts to TAFE fees.

The McGowan Government reduced TAFE fees for 34 priority courses by up to 50 per cent from January 1.

As part of the WA Recovery Plan, fees for an additional 39 TAFE courses were reduced by up to 72 per cent and 15 free TAFE short courses were announced in July.

With training now more affordable, an additional 4,600 local students have enrolled into the 34 first courses, an increase of more the 20 per cent compared to this time last year.

There have been more than 27,700 enrolments in the first batch of 34 high priority courses included in the Lower fees, local skills (LFLS) program since it was rolled out at the start of the year.

Courses seeing the largest enrolment growth include the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (3,250 enrolments), the Certificate III in Individual Support – Disability and Aged Care (more than 2,700 enrolments), and the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (over 2,500 enrolments).

The Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations has seen good results with around 1,500 enrolments, followed by the Certificate III in Hospitality with more than 1,400 enrolments.

The first batch of slashed-fees courses has been especially popular with younger students, with just under half of all enrolments undertaken by students aged 24 or under.

Around 35 per cent of enrolments have been by students living in the regions, with the strongest growth in the Great Southern, which is up 422 students compared to last year.

Since July 2020, when the program was expanded as part of the WA Recovery Plan, there have been 3,150 enrolments in the additional 39 half price courses that were added to the initiative.

These figures reflect all training delivery by Western Australia’s TAFE colleges and contracted private providers.

For more information on Lower fees, local skills and a full list of half price courses visit http://www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au or contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“My Government has made TAFE a priority and these enrolment figures for our 50 per cent cut to TAFE fees are showing our investment in training is delivering good returns.

“It’s particularly encouraging to see young people are returning to training and TAFE, which was a key target of the Lower fees, local skills initiative.

“We expect more Western Australians to enrol in TAFE, following the additional reductions in course fees of up to 72 per cent announced as part of the WA Recovery Plan.

“TAFE is a major part of WA’s recovery from COVID-19 and our training-led plan will prepare Western Australians to get back into jobs to meet the economy’s immediate workforce needs following the impacts of the pandemic.”

Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

“Training is vital to develop a skilled workforce to support the State’s economic recovery and people are clearly getting the message that now is the time to get a qualification.

“We will continue to invest in training to ensure Western Australia is well positioned to bounce back as the economy recovers.”

Premier’s office – 6552 5000

Education and Training Minister’s office – 6552 5700


Construction industry facing a labour shortage by 2022

Geoff Dart Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Building flags the upcoming labour shortage as a real concern for the industry and the communities we serve.

Whilst the construction pipeline is strong for the commercial and infrastructure sectors, we are impeded by failure of the Reserve Bank and major banks, to pass on the $300b allocated the “Road to Recovery” (ACIF), dating back to the bushfires.

With population growth expected to return to pre-COVID 19 levels in late 2021 and uplift in business activity, we need to be prepared.

“Biggest enrolment growth in priority industries including electrician, civil construction and hospitality.”

The initiative by WA is a great step forward and timely, as the construction students should be graduating at various levels in eighteen months to two years.

Government policy may also consider the re-training of the 100,000 people to lose their jobs in the retail sector over that period. Along with construction, the other industry facing a shortage is agriculture, also in need of infrastructural development.

Let us keep pushing other states and territories to invest in the support required for construction to be a major driver to socio-economic recovery over the coming decade.


9 September 2020

President’s Update for Members

It has been a busy month for AIB activities with our National judging of our 2020 Professional Excellence Awards nearing completion. Our Chapter Awards book will be available shortly to all finalists and we have resolved Chapter award presentations while managing State regulations for COVID restrictions.

At this stage ACT, QLD, WA and SA are planning face to face events and some shortened programs will see a mix of dinner and cocktail. Virtual presentations will be used for NSW / Hong Kong, VIC / TAS and the National Awards and the current timetable is:

• ACT Chapter – cocktail gathering format (TBA date)
• NSW / HK Chapter – virtual presentation 16/10/2020
• WA Chapter – cocktail gathering format (TBA date)
• QLD Chapter – cocktail gathering format (TBA date)
• VIC / TAS Chapter – virtual presentation 23/10/2020
• SA Chapter – annual dinner and awards at the National Wine Centre 30/10/2020
• National Awards – virtual presentation 20/11/2020

We will get final venue details out to entrants directly, as well as Chapter Members so you can all celebrate your outstanding projects for 2019. We will still see all Professional Excellence Awards presented before the end of 2020.

Our 69th Annual General Meeting has been scheduled as a zoom meeting for 24 September at 6:00pm. Follow the link to the meeting notice, register your attendance and view the meeting agenda.

I have directly contacted members regarding finalising your 2020 / 2021 membership subscription or confirming your student membership status. Most importantly those members who which to register for the AGM and participate in the business of the meeting will need to be financial to be issued the meeting link.

So, don’t let your membership lapse before this important meeting when we introduce the incoming National President and National Committee to take the AIB into its 70th year of operations. If you need help to confirm your membership status simply contact the office by phone on 02 6253 1100 or by emailing membership@aib.org.au to request a copy of your lost invoice or allow us to assist you by finalising a payment directly over the phone.

Finally, our role as your representatives advocating on behalf of ‘Chartered Building Professionals’ to Government and Building Regulators in all jurisdictions has not stopped.

We are active across a number of jurisdictions providing valuable information to departments and ministers on the pathway forward for building recovery around the nation as COVID responses are formulated.

Have a great day and stay safe wherever you are working at the moment.

David Burnell FAIB
National President, Australian Institute of Building


24 August 2020 

AIB Update for members 

This week I am saddened to advise the passing of one of our very significant foundation members. George W Dore – OAM LFAIB passed away last week and a live stream of his service at 11:30am on 25 August will be available tomorrow at www.davidwbull.com.au

George was indeed a long-standing member of the AIB having commenced as member #226 on the 13th of March 1954. He was an enthusiastic AIB member and served as Victorian Chapter President from 1993 – 1995. He also championed the connection between the AIB and Holmesglen Institute through his passion for education and training.

The work of both George and his late wife Margaret (passed in 2012), has included many valuable and lasting contributions to the AIB over many years. George was recognised for this outstanding service with the awarding of a Life Fellowship in February 2009. We are saddened to lose such a loyal and committed friend and we mark our respect for George by acknowledge his enormous commitment to the profession over more than 65 years. We are very grateful for the contributions that the Dore family and G.W Dore Builders have made over the years.

A short article from 2007 records the esteem of Holmesglen Institute regarding George’s work in the education and support of students is attached. Holmesglen Institute: End of an Era

It has been a busy month for AIB activities with National judging of our 2020 Professional Excellence Awards now under way. Our Chapter Awards book is nearing completion and will be available shortly to all finalists. Our work on securing award presentation solution is continuing and the dynamic landscape in some States regarding COVID restrictions is a challenge that we will resolve shortly. Some Chapters and National office have been working hard over the last month to secure new venue dates where live presentations can be held however a virtual awards solution is also part of our response where we are still facing restrictions in Victoria and New South Wales for larger group gatherings.

We will get details out to entrants directly, as well as Chapter Members so you can all celebrate your outstanding projects for 2019. Our desire is to still see all awards presented before the end of 2020.

Our Annual Chapter Meetings have now occurred and we welcome some new committee members in most Chapters so look out for events and new chances to engage with your local AIB Chapter. To those Chapter Presidents and committee members who have just completed their term of service we thank you for your contribution and look forward to celebrating with you when we next meet.

I have contacted members directly regarding finalising your 2020 / 2021 membership subscription or confirming your student status if you have been on our books for over 6 years. This is the time we are required to lapse members who are not financial so this is a final reminder for members who want to remain connected. Simply contact membership@aib.org.au and request a copy of your lost invoice or allow us to assist you by finalising a payment over the phone.

Finally, our role as your representatives advocating on behalf of ‘Chartered Building Professionals’ to Government and Building Regulators in all jurisdictions has not stopped.

We have completed a submission to the ABCB – National Registration Framework for Building Practitioners Paper. Our response focused on qualifications and experience required for a number of Practitioner categories:

  • Building Level 1 – Open / Commercial
  • Building Level 2 – Restricted / Commercial
  • Building Level 3 – Limited / Residential
  • Project Management Level 1 – Open / Commercial
  • Project Management Level 2 – Restricted / Commercial
  • Building Surveying Level 1 – Open / Unrestricted
  • Building Surveying Level 2 – Restricted

We also provided supporting commentary on the standard and basis for professional level course accreditation and the need for a National Register as the repository for credentials and licencing information so that it is truly open to all jurisdictions    as a single source repository regarding professional qualifications for all licence holders using a National Registration model.

Have a great day and stay safe wherever you are working at the moment.

David Burnell FAIB

National President, Australian Institute of Building


Industry super owned IFM Investors has today proposed a new way of financing infrastructure construction that would help kick-start the economy, create jobs, and better meet the needs of governments, regulators and the community, while driving investment and returns for millions of workers.  IFM Investors is ready to unlock billions of dollars for Australian infrastructure projects to support the post-Covid-19 economic recovery.  With industry super capital already set to contribute $19.5 billion over the next three years and create 200,000 jobs, the additional billions would “supercharge” the existing stimulus pipeline already committed by industry super.