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:
- The VBA must issue a BPN before a relevant building surveyor (RBS) can issue a building permit.
- 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.
- Applicants are responsible for paying the levy; however, an RBS (or another nominated person) can pay the levy on an applicant’s behalf.
- 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.
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.
David Burnell FAIB
National President, Australian Institute of Building
(Photo Credit: David Broadway Photography by Julius Pang)