NSW GOVERNMENT DELIVERS HISTORIC BUILDING REFORMS TO RESTORE INDUSTRY CONFIDENCE

 

The NSW Government has delivered on its promise to restore public confidence in the building industry by successfully passing the Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019.

Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson said the much-needed reforms, passed by Parliament today, mark the start of a new era in the design and construction of buildings in NSW.

“The NSW Government has a no nonsense approach to achieving and maintaining best practice regulation across all of the industries that it regulates, and the building sector is no exception,” Mr Anderson said.

“This Bill is all about putting consumers first by giving those entering the property market peace of mind that their home will be expertly designed and built in compliance with the Australian Building Codes.”

The Minister said the Bill, developed through extensive consultation with industry stakeholders and the public, will ensure NSW has a leading system of design and building regulation that delivers well-constructed buildings into the future.

“The passing of the Bill is a huge step forward in the rebuilding the construction sector into a transparent, accountable, customer-centric industry that consumers deserve,” Mr Anderson said.

“Owners of apartment buildings with defects will benefit immediately from the statutory duty of care that applies to all new buildings and those less than ten years old.”

Also introduced to NSW Parliament this week is the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Bill 2020, boosting the Building Commissioner’s power to stop dodgy builders and developers in their tracks.

The NSW Building Commissioner, David Chandler OAM, will be leading the regulator’s implementation of both Bills, through an expert team of up to 60 new staff who will undertake increased investigation, audit and compliance activities

“Combined, these two Bills put the interests of consumers first and show that the Government is serious about lifting the standard of work across the building and construction sector,” Mr Chandler said.

“The laws will give my team a broad range of powers, including the ability to issue stop work orders, prevent strata plan registration and occupation certificates, and to issue hefty fines for those doing the wrong thing.”

The two pieces of legislation forms one part of the NSW Government’s comprehensive six part reform agenda to lift standards and accountability in the building sector.

Media: Chloe Stevenson 0409 746 294

INDUSTRY COMMENTARY

Bronwyn Evans, CEO, Engineers Australia

The passage of the Design and Building Practitioners Bill through the NSW Parliament is a history-making development in the regulation of professional engineers in Australia and one which will significantly benefit the community and the engineering profession”

“It will lift professional standards for the 60,000 engineers who work in NSW and who are vital to the state’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Compulsory registration of engineers will help to minimise the risk of more major incidents, such as Opal and Mascot Towers or bridge collapses that have been seen in Australia and around the world.

“Our members overwhelmingly support the reforms for compulsory registration of engineers, and Engineers Australia is pleased to have played a leading role in them becoming law.

“Engineers Australia looks forward to continuing to work constructively with the Government and other key stakeholders as the regulations to the legislation are developed.”

Francine Binns, CEO, PWEANSW

“IPWEA NSW recognises the importance of restoring consumer trust and confidence in the building and construction sector however urges state government to continue working on its commitment to introduce a professional engineers registration scheme that makes it compulsory for all engineers in NSW to be registered in order to practice”, said IPWEA NSW CEO Francine Binns.

“Engineers provide a critical service to our economy and we encourage continued development and scope of the bills to be expanded to include all disciplines of all engineering that is consistent with other states particularly Queensland and Victoria” she added.

IPWEA NSW along with other industry bodies have repeatedly called for a registration scheme covering all types of engineers combined with professional development to be introduced into NSW.

“The registration scheme will also address the ongoing and increasing skills shortage of engineers in local government and is central to any future improvements in productivity and economic development for the NSW community”, said Ms Binns.