15 March 2019

This week I am currently in Canberra ahead of a Council Meeting tomorrow. We also learned last Monday of the passing of a past National President Mr Graham Fricker AM LFAIB. Graham served the institute with distinction for all of his building career and he was our National President from 2001 to 2003. He remained an active member in the South Australian Chapter after leaving the National Council in 2013 when our smaller format board was established.

The week has also seen a significant amount of AIB coverage for building related releases. We have now seen the implementation plans for all jurisdictions with respect to progressing the Shergold-Weir recommendations. Sadly the spread of responses and action is low in all states with some states still discussing whether they intend to adopt some recommendations (see Building Confidence Report).

The take away message may be that the regulators are leading ‘without confidence’ in multiple areas, so industry will still wear the blame because sites are identified by cranes with contractor names. Is it time to start hanging a sign for the local building minister on every site, to remind the public their confidence in the building system also includes areas outside of any main contractor having control of physical work?

I recently offered an idea to start industry thinking about the scale of our cladding rectification as a cost and resources problem with an eye watering price tag. I would welcome comments and discussion on how we can manage to pay for the repairs needed (see A National Pathway is needed to help solve Building Confidence article).

Don’t forget the Professional Excellence Awards for 2019 are nearly closed for submissions so there is less than a week left to finish off the submissions already started on line.

Finally this week has kept me on the phone and in teleconferences as we prepare for the next National Council meeting to review the last six months of AIB work since I became National President. Your National Councillors are currently travelling to Canberra or preparing for early flights tomorrow as we spend a full day on planning, presentations, budget management and final details for the Constructing our World Conference which is happening in September in Sydney.

So I look forward to updating you after the Council meeting with my next report.

David Burnell FAIB
National President, Australian Institute of Building