RECORD INFRASTRUCTURE SPEND THE NEW NORMAL, 2019 AUSTRALIAN INFRASTRUCTURE WARNS

 

 

A new wave of investment and reform is needed to ensure Australia’s infrastructure continues to support our quality of life and economic productivity over the next 15 years, according to the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit published today by Infrastructure Australia, the nation’s independent infrastructure advisor.

“Changing and growing demand, and a mounting maintenance backlog is putting unprecedented pressure on the infrastructure services each and every Australian relies on. The current infrastructure program must do more than plug the immediate funding gap, but instead deliver long-term changes to the way we plan, fund and deliver infrastructure,” said Infrastructure Australia Chair, Julieanne Alroe.

“Rather than a short-term boom, the historic level of activity we are seeing in the sector must, and is likely, to continue for the next 15 years and potentially beyond. This must be the new normal if we are to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead,” Ms Alroe said.

The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit presents a forward-looking view of our infrastructure challenges and opportunities over the next 15 years and beyond. It is the second national Audit Infrastructure Australia has undertaken, after the first was published in 2015, and examines the infrastructure needs of the Australian community and industry – covering the major infrastructure sectors of energy, transport, telecommunications, water – and for the first time, social infrastructure and waste.

“Since the last Australian Infrastructure Audit we released in 2015, Australia’s governments have made important progress to promote reform, improve planning and address infrastructure gaps. More than $123 billion of construction work has commenced since 2015, with a committed forward pipeline of over $200 billion. However, there is much more to do to ease the pressures of growth, catalyse development and enable our businesses to compete on a global stage,” Ms Alroe said.

“The 2019 Audit finds that infrastructure in our four largest cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth – is failing to keep pace with rapid population growth, particularly on the urban fringe. With our population projected to grow by 24% to reach 31.4 million by 2034, our largest cities are expected to see pressure on access to infrastructure.

“The dominance of infill development in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will require investment in high capacity public transport, enhancements to existing energy and water infrastructure, improved shared spaces and a renewal of inner city health and education services.

“In contrast, the growing outer suburbs of the other major cities, including Perth, where greenfield development will dominate, is are expected to see pressure on their road networks, as well as expansion of utility networks, new shared and recreation spaces as well as cultural facilities.

“The costs of inaction are significant. If investment were to stop, the cost of road congestion is projected to grow by $18.9 billion to $38.7 billion in 2031. This impacts quality of life, as well as our economic productivity and competitiveness as a nation,” said Ms Alroe.

The 2019 Audit puts the community at the centre of infrastructure planning, using user-focused measures of access, quality and cost, it also highlights how service quality varies greatly for Australians depending on where they live.

“Infrastructure quality is high in our urban centres, including our smaller cities and regional centres. However unlike our larger cities, there is often little choice of the types of services that people can access. These centres are also growing as regional service hubs as smaller towns shrink and people relocate to these larger centres. This in turn places greater importance on high quality transport links,” said Ms Alroe.

“Improvements in digital connectivity have helped, providing access to new services like on demand transport and electric vehicles, while improving access for people in regional areas through tele-health and improved communications. However, we need to do more to ensure small towns and regional communities also benefit from these advancements.

“Satellite cities – such as Wollongong, Newcastle, Geelong, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast – benefit from high levels of infrastructure access and quality as a result of their proximity to their larger neighbours. While these cities have the capacity to support growth, additional investment will be needed to ensure services are of an appropriate scale to support increased population.

“Poorer access to infrastructure services in our remote communities is reinforcing disadvantage. In many parts of the country, service provision falls below what is acceptable for a highly developed nation, including remote communities experiencing social housing overcrowding, limited access to drinking water, inadequate transport and poor telecommunications, which in turn translates to poorer health standards and quality of life for their residents.

“For industry, well-targeted infrastructure investment is critical to support international competitiveness. Our supply chains, and key inputs like water and energy, are well understood products of infrastructure, however the health and education of the workforce are highly dependent on social infrastructure and subsequently so too is national productivity,” Ms Alroe said.

New analysis of the Household Expenditure Survey conducted for the Audit found the average household spent over $314 each week on infrastructure in 2015/16 – or $16,000 annually.

“Australians earning the lowest 20% of incomes across the country spend around a third of what they earn on infrastructure. This is above a level that would be considered affordable.

“Australian’s perceptions of affordability are mixed, and often perceptions do not align with actual service costs. While concerns about rising energy prices are widely held, the proportion of household incomes spent on energy is relatively low, 2-6%, in contrast to transport which accounts for between 10-22%.

“Data on infrastructure affordability is poor and outdated, and more needs to be done to provide transparency to the community on infrastructure access and quality,” said Ms Alroe.

The 2019 Audit also finds that constant and rapid change is creating challenges for the way we plan, design and deliver infrastructure.

“A clear challenge that emerges from the 2019 Audit is that our current tools are not well placed to deal with many of the new infrastructure problems we are facing in today’s rapidly changing environment. Our population is growing and changing, the structure of the economy is shifting, our communities and environment are experiencing weather extremes, and rapid technology change is fundamentally reshaping our day-to-day lives.

“Growing social, economic and environmental interdependencies have added complexity to planning, delivering and operating our infrastructure.

“Projects across Australia are getting larger and increasingly complex, and will require new approaches if they are to be effectively delivered. So-called mega projects – projects larger than $1 billion in value – are becoming the default, increasing the burden on the sector, and in some cases exceeding industry capacity. If we are going to continue to be productive and accommodate change, we need to grow industry skills and capacity.

“The 2019 Audit finds that engagement with customers and the broader community on project planning, needs to increase across most sectors and jurisdictions. A failure to engage can carry substantial costs to projects, and it is estimated that around $20 billion worth of infrastructure projects was delayed, cancelled or mothballed due to community opposition over the past decade.

“Better engagement with communities and businesses can help to establish a social licence for projects as it provides an opportunity to incorporate their feedback through project planning and delivery. Establishing genuine community buy-in for need to reform must be a priority for government and industry alike as we embark on a new era of investment and reform to meet Australia’s changing and growing infrastructure needs,” Ms Alroe said.

Consultation

Infrastructure Australia is calling for feedback and submissions in response to 136 challenges and 44 opportunities identified in the 2019 Audit. Submissions will be open until 31 October 2019.

Submissions are accepted via the Infrastructure Australia website, and will inform the approach and recommendations for reform identified in the forthcoming Australian Infrastructure Plan. Submissions identifying projects and initiatives for the 2020 Infrastructure Priority List are also open until 31 August.

DAVID CHANDLER OAM APPOINTED NSW BUILDING COMMISSIONER

MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday, 1 August 2019

DAVID CHANDLER OAM APPOINTED NSW BUILDING COMMISSIONER

 

Home owners will be better protected following the appointment of building and construction expert David Chandler OAM as NSW Building Commissioner.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the appointment of Mr Chandler was part of the NSW Government’s commitment to implementing the biggest overhaul to building laws in the State’s history.

“David has more than 40 years’ industry experience, which will be invaluable as we move to restore confidence in the building and construction industry,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We know there are national challenges affecting the industry, but this new appointment will play a key role in protecting NSW homeowners and driving critical reforms.”

The Building Commissioner will be responsible for the investigation and disciplinary action for misconduct in the building industry while overseeing the end to end licensing and auditing across the building industry.

The Commissioner will also drive legislative reforms of the building industry, including consultation with industry.

This will include legislation to be introduced later this year requiring building practitioners to be registered, a new duty of care to make it easier for home owners to seek compensation against negligent building practitioners, and ensuring all buildings are designed and constructed to plans that comply with the Building Code of Australia.

Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said the Building Commissioner’s priority will be to continue the extensive work that has already been started by the NSW Government to reform the building and construction industry.

“David will lead the implementation of this reform and will advise the Government on additional reforms that may be needed to ensure better protections for homeowners and purchasers, and lift building standards across NSW,” Mr Anderson said.

Mr Chandler has welcomed the opportunity to work with the Government to strengthen the building and construction industry.

“Recent events have reduced community confidence in how buildings are designed and constructed and how they perform, but I welcome the leadership and commitment being shown by the Government to implement change that will strengthen the construction industry foundations in NSW,” Mr Chandler said.

Mr Chandler will start in the position on 14 August 2019.

 

MEDIA: Beau Mitchem │Premier │0418 151 808

William Sparling │Minister Anderson │0408 576 636

2019 NSW PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE IN BUILDING AWARDS RESULTS

The New South Wales Chapter held their Professional Excellence in Building Awards last Friday 26 July at Dockside Darling Harbour.

The night was packed with great entertainment, networking and celebrating the best in the industry. Check out the photos from the night here.

A special mention to the 2019 New South Wales Building Professional of the Year –  Michael Kilcar from Watpac Construction for ANSTO MO99 Nuclear Medicine Facility project.

 

 

 

 

The full list of NSW winners can be found here

2019 VIC PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE IN BUILDING AWARDS RESULTS

The Victorian Chapter held their Professional Excellence in Building Awards Friday 19 July at the RACV City Club.

The night was packed with great entertainment, networking and celebrating the best in the industry. Check out the photos from the night here.

A special mention to the 2019 Victorian Building Professional of the Year –  Edward Roydhouse from Lendlease for his One Melbourne Quarter project.

The full list of VIC winners can be found here

NATIONAL PRESIDENT’S UPDATE – BMF JULY

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

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

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

Key points of agreement involve:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish you a pleasant weekend,

National President
David Burnell FAIB 

BUILDING MINISTERS’ FORUM COMMUNIQUE

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

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

Building Ministers will strengthen the Australian Building Codes Board

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

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

States and territories retain responsibility for building and construction matters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Silicosis

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

ACT Builder Licensing Exams

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

Technical specification for permanent labelling of Aluminium Composite Panels

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

Energy efficiency

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

NCC out-of-cycle amendment

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

Next BMF meeting

The BMF will meet again in December 2019.\

BMF Industry Roundtable

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

 

 

 

 

Background

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

NATIONAL PRESIDENT’S UPDATE

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

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

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

Insurance Issues for industry

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

NSW response to Shergold Weir Report

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

VBA has a new permit system

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

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

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

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

Advocate activities

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

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

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

Presidential duties in the last period has included:

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

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

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

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

David Burnell FAIB
National President, Australian Institute of Building

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo Credit: David Broadway Photography by Julius Pang)

QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT TO BAN COMBUSTIBLE CLADDING

Media Release

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ENDS

Media contact Rosie Gilbert 0466 834 330

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

2019 WA PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE IN BUILDING AWARDS RESULTS

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

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

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

The full list of winners can be found here