Professional Builders Welcome Announcement of Victorian Building Authority

The Australian Institute of Building (AIB) today welcomed the announcement of the creation of the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). AIB hopes that the new VBA, which will integrate the functions of the Building Commission, Plumbing Industry Commission and the Architects Registration Board of Victoria to provide a single point of governance for building and plumbing practitioners and architects in Victoria, will facilitate the building industry in Victoria moving into a new era of accountability, higher educational standards and more efficient regulation.

Confidence needs to be restored in the building regulator in Victoria, and we welcome this announcement, said Mr Robert Hunt, AIB Chief Executive Officer.

We note that compulsory professional development (CPD) is suggested in the report, and we support compulsory CPD for builders and building surveyors, said Mr Hunt.

We are keen to see that the building sector in Victoria is improved through higher educational standards, and to see the minimum qualification standard for builder licences improved. We have concerns that some courses currently on offer are less than what is needed to produce the best outcomes for Victorian consumers. In short, AIB would like to see the bar raised in regards to building qualifications, at least to the diploma level (AQF 6) for residential and degree level (AQF 7-8) for open licenses.

Further, to protect consumers and builders from long protracted building disputes, AIB advocates that front-end controls, such as properly qualified and experienced building practitioners with regular audits, are critical. We are supportive of a well-defined and enforced building inspection regime. We need a new residential disputes process that is simple, practical, cost-effective, timely and efficient.

AIB also welcomes the new on-line assessment tool for building and plumbing practitioners which is being developed, to re-engineer the way in which practitioners are examined for the purpose of both building and plumbing registration and licensing,

AIB requests the opportunity to consult with the Victorian Government over coming weeks on this new body, Mr Hunt added.