MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

I am happy to announce that the AIB will host Constructing Our World in 2019.

The conference under the watchful eye of Conference Curator Robyn Hardy, will build on the conference that was held in Auckland early last year. It will feature an array of cutting edge presenters that will look at People, Process and Framework and delve into everything from future technologies to innovative education and training methods.

A date and location details will be announced in the not too distant future, however I can say it is intended to stage the Conference in Sydney and saddle up alongside the National Professional Excellence in Building Awards. The combined Conference, Awards and fringe events should make it a compelling few days for your diary.
Whilst talking Awards, can I urge you to consider both the Australian and Hong Kong Professional Excellence in Building Awards 2018. Remember every nomination is judged on its own merits and not against others within the same category. Our Awards recognise individual excellence as opposed to a project or completed structure. We welcome Hong Kong to the Awards program and encourage you to visit our website for details of how to enter.
Nominations and submissions will close soon so don’t miss out.
Have a great weekend ahead everyone.

Greg Hughes
AIB Chief Executive Officer

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

I trust you had a great break and that you are inspired and re energised for another year.

2018 will be another big year for the AIB with a number of new initiatives coming on line:

We have the launched the inaugural 2018 Professional Excellence in Building Awards in Hong Kong. Whilst it will be a modest start this year, we will run an Awards Presentation at or around the same time as the Hong Kong Annual General meeting mid-year and hopefully see some of those entries move through to the National Awards in Australia later this year.

  • Meanwhile nominations are now open for the Australian Professional Excellence in Building Awards. I’m both surprised and delighted about just how many entries have already been submitted around Australia. It looks as though it will be a big year to showcase the industry
  • I am happy to announce that Dr Robyn Hardy has been appointed as the new Chair of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for the organisation. The focus this year will be to commission new material that is specifically relevant and targeted at AIB members. It’s also hoped that in time to come we will be able to share material with other like – minded organisations and them with us as well
  • We are also happy to announce that we are soon set for a trial (Western Sydney University) of a new joint venture with St John Ambulance Australia – that being the combined delivery of a two (2) day White Card/First Aid course. While there are many organisations delivering both of these courses, this is the first time that an organisation such as ours has joined forces with the 150 year old trusted brand of St John. More detail to come
  • We welcome Adam Rennie from NSW to our National Council line up for 2018. Adam’s enthusiasm, experience and someone with youth on their side will be a great addition to our strategic thinking and forward planning with our younger current and future members
  • We also welcome our National Senior Vice President David Burnell on board as our new Chair of Membership. David’s experience and passion for not for profit member based association thinking will be a breath of fresh air. We welcome his review of our Membership Value Proposition

Have a great weekend everyone

Greg Hughes
AIB Chief Executive Officer

APPOINTMENT OF ABCC COMMISSIONER

The Australian Government has today announced the appointment of Mr Stephen McBurney as the Commissioner of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) for a five-year term commencing on 6 February 2018.

Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation, Craig Laundy, said Mr McBurney has been appointed following a merit-based selection process.

“I congratulate Mr McBurney on his appointment. He joins us from the Victorian Office of Chief Examiner, where he has been responsible for investigating serious organised crime over the last nine years,” Minister Laundy said.

Mr McBurney has a proven track record in previous ABCC litigation as he worked as an Assistant Commissioner (Legal) for the ABCC from 2006-08, where he was also responsible for the implementation of compliance powers.

“In addition to his outstanding legal career, Mr McBurney was one of the AFL’s most experienced and highly regarded umpires, one of four umpires to reach the 400-game milestone,” Minister Laundy said.

“The building industry is a vital sector of Australia’s economy, employing more than one million Australians. The ABCC plays a critical role in maintaining the rule of law and promoting improved workplace relations to ensure building work is carried out fairly, productively and for the benefit of all.”

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

It’s been a busy couple of weeks as we continue to edge closer to Christmas. Last Wednesday I attended an Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) meeting in Canberra where we spent the morning with a number of senior politicians including:

  • Angus Taylor – Assistant Minister for Cities and the Digital Transformation. I asked the Assistant Minister about the long talked about fast rail corridor between Brisbane/Sydney/Canberra/Melbourne. It was his view that it’s not that we don’t have the know how to construct the infrastructure for the project, rather the greater issue being agreement on a realistic funding model
  • Paul Fletcher – Minister for Urban Infrastructure. Discussion was around road and rail infrastructure in both city and regional areas as well as the group seeking the Commonwealth to consider joining the BIM Advisory Board
  • Senator Chris Ketter. Much was discussed around our and others input into the Senate Enquiry into non-conforming building products. The initial report has been written and is now with Government. It is hoped it will be released around April next year with a clear set of recommendations etc

At the ACIF meeting during the afternoon there was much discussion around non-conforming building products and non-compliant use. Neil Savery from the Australian Building Codes Board made it abundantly clear a number of distinctions:

  1. A non-conforming product is a product that purports to be something that it is not and is marketed or supplied with the intent to deceive those who intend using it (in other words they are fraudulent)
  2. A product that is not fit for purpose is a product that is used in situations where they do not comply with the requiremnents of the NCC
  3. The non-compliant use of a product is associated with decisions by those in the chain of custody around how a product is used

I thought you may find the above information useful.

Our National Office will close from lunchtime on 22nd of this month and reopen at 9am on Monday 8th January 2018. Can I take this opportunity to personally wish you and yours a great Christmas/New Year break. Be safe and lets make 2018 another positive year for the Australin Institute of Building.

Greg Hughes
CEO, Australian Institute of Building

STATE OF THE AUSTRALIAN CONSTRUCTION MARKET: PART II

As a second-generation builder, Prof Heather first visited construction sites with his father at the tender age of four.

During his professional career over the past forty-five years, he’s remained just as close to the industry working across the residential, industry, commercial, retail, mining and major infrastructure sectors.

Joining AIB as a corporate member in 1999, he has served in a variety of roles prior to his current position as National Chair, where he now enjoys supporting and servicing the building profession amalgamating his skills, experiences, education and continued personal development.

Read More

BUILDING MINISTERS’ FORUM

Today, Building Ministers held a special meeting to discuss progress with the Assessment of the Effectiveness of Compliance and Enforcement Systems for Building and Construction Industry across Australia being undertaken by independent experts, Professor Peter Shergold AC and Ms Bronwyn Weir.

The Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) commissioned this work at its June 2017 meeting and once finalised, the report will provide a basis to improve compliance and enforcement practices in building regulation across Australia.  Ministers are confident that this important work is on track, and relevant stakeholders are providing meaningful input into their considerations.

All Building Ministers are committed to strengthening the effective implementation of the National Construction Code and the work being undertaken by Professor Shergold and Ms Weir is an important step on that path.

The BMF also acknowledges the significant work being undertaken by jurisdictions to address issues relating to building compliance and enforcement including the work of the cladding audits and reviewsunderway across the states and territories.

 Professor Shergold and Ms Weir will provide their final report to the BMF in early 2018.

 

CONSTRUCTION ECONOMICS AND BUILDING HAS JUST PUBLISHED ITS LATEST ISSUE

Latest issue of Construction Economics and Building is at: https://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/journals/index.php/AJCEB

 

BUILDING APPROVALS GO FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH

Building approvals are going through the roof, signifying business and investor confidence in Tasmania under the Hodgman Liberal Government.

Recent ABS statistics show that Tasmanian building approvals for dwelling units for October 2017 increased by 4.3 per cent from the previous month. This means more homes and more jobs for Tasmanians.

In addition, building approvals for dwelling units for October 2017 grew by 47.3 per cent from the same time the previous year.

This is the result of a growing economy in Tasmania under the Liberal Government, supported by the huge boosts to the residential building sector through our Housing Incentive Package.

We have reduced the stamp duty on eligible house and land packages for new home builders, and made it easier for Tasmanians to build their first home by extending the First Home Builders Grant of $20,000.

Businesses like Island Block and Paving are feeling the benefits, and are seeing more builders and companies using their products in housing construction.

With a high demand for their product, Island Block and Paving have recently expanded with a new facility in Hobart, and additional staff have been hired over the last 12 months.

We have seen employment in the building and construction industry increase by 6,700 jobs under the Hodgman Liberal Government, and with a record number of cranes in the sky and residential building booming, jobs will continue to increase.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to Build Your Future, and we are working on initiatives to improve the lives of all Tasmanians.

TAKING ACTION ON CLADDING

The Andrews Labor Government will take action to prevent the use of combustible cladding on Victorian buildings as part of the most significant overhaul of the building sector in decades.

The Government today released the Victorian Cladding Taskforce Chairs’ interim report, which outlines the extent of combustible cladding on buildings and makes significant recommendations to address the issue.

The Taskforce has identified up to 1,400 buildings as most likely having Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) with a polyethylene (PE) core or Expanded Polystyrene (EPS).

No building has required an evacuation order by Victorian regulators, provided certain safety measures are met while rectification works are carried out, such as alarms, sprinklers or evacuation procedures.

In response to the Taskforce’s findings, the Government has directed the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to inspect more worksites and buildings, including a statewide audit of residential buildings likely to have combustible cladding.

The VBA is providing $5 million to get the audit done and any buildings found to be non-compliant will have to be rectified. To take action on cladding the Government will also:

  • Appoint a State Building Inspector – a leading expert to provide the very best technical knowledge
  • Restrict the use of ACPs with a PE core and the use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) in Victoria on buildings above two storeys
  • Require the VBA to inspect more of Victoria’s buildings each year – from less than two per cent to up to 10 per cent, putting building practitioners on notice
  • Appoint former VicRoads chief executive John Merritt to the Victorian Cladding Taskforce as a Special Adviser to the Minister.

The Government will take immediate action to address cladding on publicly-owned buildings, including hospitals. A Department of Health and Human Services audit has already looked at 1,100 buildings and has identified eight hospitals where non-compliant cladding must be replaced.

Works to rectify the Royal Women’s Hospital are under way, while the remainder of sites will be brought into compliance within 36 months. A further 12 hospital buildings remain under assessment.

Quote attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“We’re taking action to overhaul the building industry and prevent the use of combustible cladding. We’re giving the VBA the tools it needs to complete an unprecedented audit and we’ll crack down on those who flout the rules.”

Quote attributable to Victorian Cladding Taskforce Co-Chair Ted Baillieu

“Everyone from builders to suppliers and the regulator need to lift their game. We want to see maximum levels of compliance and more of an effort from the industry to accept responsibility and ensure everyone is safe.”

Quote attributable to Victorian Cladding Taskforce Co-Chair John Thwaites

“There has been a culture of non-compliance throughout the building sector that has meant combustible cladding has become a widespread material used on multi-storey buildings. This culture has to change.”

PLUMBING INDUSTRY LEADER APPOINTED TO VBA BOARD

Longstanding and highly respected plumbing and fire protection industry leader Carmel Coate has been appointed a Commissioner of the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) Board.

In announcing Ms Coate’s appointment, VBA Chief Commissioner Dr Owen Donald, said the new Commissioner brought extensive experience in the plumbing sector to the role, having been National Executive Director of the National Fire Industry Association (NFIA) for 30 years and a member of the Plumbing Advisory Council (PAC) for the past 16 years.

“Carmel is well known and highly respected throughout the plumbing industry and it is anticipated her knowledge of, and experience in, the industry will be of great value to the VBA Board,” Dr Donald said.

“An important part of the experience and expertise Carmel brings is in industry training. She is Chair of Fire Industry Training Ltd, an industry-owned training organisation, and in November 2017 she took up the role of Chair of the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC), the industry-led training facility in Brunswick.”

Ms Coate has strong experience in project leadership and team management, business planning and systems implementation. Her extensive CV sets out a range of positions on boards, committees and advisory groups in the plumbing, fire protection and industry training sectors. In addition, Ms Coate is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.