ACIF WELCOMES RELEASE OF THE IMPLEMENTATION PLAN FOR THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF SHERGOLD WEIR REPORT

The Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) has welcomed the implementation plan for the recommendations of the Shergold Weir report released yesterday.  ACIF commends the Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) and the Federal, State and Territory Governments for the release of the implementation plan, albeit 13 months after the release of the Shergold Weir Report in February last year.

ACIF Executive Director James Cameron stated, “We note that no recommendations are “not supported” by any of the states. Also only a few recommendations are still “under consideration” by a few states, and these are definitely positives of the plan. “

“However, ACIF is concerned that the time frames for implementation of the recommendations are vague for many of the states, and some states say that several of the recommendations would be implemented in the “medium to long term”.”

“ACIF would like the recommendations implemented by May 2021, as recommended in the Shergold Weir Report” Mr Cameron added.

“Further, ACIF would prefer a quarterly or six-monthly update from the Building Ministers’ Forum on progress of implementation, rather than an annual update.”

“ACIF has supported greater consistency and moves towards uniform licensing in the construction industry across jurisdictions.  With the release of the Shergold Weir Report and implementation plan, this is a good opportunity to achieve greater consistency.”

“ACIF also welcomes that the implementation plan states that the BMF will work closely with industry peak bodies and professional associations to implement the recommendations, in particular those addressing professional development, career pathways, post-construction information management and the approval and review of designs/performance solutions.  In addition, the plan states that jurisdictions and coordinating bodies will engage industry as needed, including through workshops, reform working groups and written submissions, and this is encouraging.”

“ACIF and its member organisations are keen to assist the Building Ministers’ Forum and Federal and State Governments to implement the recommendations of the Shergold Weir Report by May 2021, and stand ready to discuss means to achieve this”, Mr Cameron stated.

 

About Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF)

Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) is the cohesive, trusted voice of the Australian Construction Industry. ACIF facilitates and supports an active dialogue between the key players in residential and non-residential building, and engineering construction, other industry groups, and government agencies. ACIF’s focus is on innovation, collaboration, equity and sustainability for the industry.

ACIF Members are the most significant Associations in the industry, spanning the entire asset creation process from feasibility through design, cost planning, construction and building and management. ACIF harnesses the resources of its Members to research and develop initiatives that benefit businesses of all sizes, from the largest of construction companies to small consultancies. More information on ACIF is available from www.acif.com.au.

BMF RELEASES BUILDING CONFIDENCE REPORT

The BMF commissioned the Building Confidence report, an independent expert examination of the broader compliance and enforcement problems within Australia’s building and construction system. The report concluded that there are a number of significant systematic deficiencies with Australia’s building industry culture and Australia’s governance arrangements, and made 24 recommendations to address these (see Table 1).

The BMF provided in-principle support for the report and identified national priorities. This implementation plan seeks to reaffirm Australian governments’ commitment to delivering reforms that will restore the community’s confidence in the nation’s building and construction industry. It sets out:

  • national priority reforms
  • a summary of reforms underway in each jurisdiction
  • planned reforms and proposed timeframes for each jurisdiction
  • industry involvement in the process.

Implementation of the reforms will evolve over time to respond to new, innovative approaches and emerging policy priorities. The BMF is committed to consistent and concerted effort over the next few years to devise and implement comprehensive solutions involving government and industry. As such, this plan will be regularly reviewed by the BMF, with updated reports from jurisdictions provided to the BMF at least annually, or sooner if required.

Download Building Confidence Report here 

AIB – CURRENT ISSUES COMMENT

In the first case in Australia brought against a Member’s company, in relation to aluminium composite panels (ACPs), VCAT apportioned zero costs directly to the builder.

His Honour Judge Woodward, ruled that L.U. Simon Builders Pty Ltd, the Registered Building Practitioner and AIB Fellow, Jim Moschoyiannis “did not fail to exercise reasonable care in the construction of Melbourne’s Lacrosse. “  

The case began in 2017, when the building owners launched legal proceedings against L.U. Simon Builders.  Two years later, after 22 sitting days involving 91 volumes of documents the judge apportioned 39 per cent liability to the fire engineer, 33 per cent to the building surveyor, 25 per cent to the architect and 3 per cent to the resident who caused the fire.

It was found that L.U. Simon Builders and Mr Moschoyiannis complied with project documentation produced by the consultant team and the requirements of the Building Permit.  Paragraph 301 of the VCAT findings notes:

 “The evidence in the proceeding generally clearly demonstrates that, with the exception of fire engineers, there was in 2011 a poor understanding among building professionals (at least in Australia) of the fire risks associated with ACPs. And in the overall cohort of building professionals, there is no reason to expect that building firms would have a superior understanding to, for example, that of architects and building surveyors. In fact, the reverse is probably true. Given their level of qualifications and the nature of their responsibilities, it would be fair to expect fire engineersbuilding surveyors and architects (in that order) to have a better grasp than building practitioners ofire risks and the application of the BCA to those risks.

The judge also found in favour of the builder with regard to the product selection and approval:

I have found above that the choice of the Alucobest product over Alucobond PE (as it came to be known) was not a necessary condition for the ignition of the Alucobest panels…. Thus, in simple terms, I am satisfied that LU Simon’s selection of Alucobest ACP’s as “indicative to Alucobond” did not cause the fire or fire spread.”

There is currently an Alucobond Combustible Cladding Class Action, which is a product liability claim, against 3A Composites GmbH and Halifax Vogel Group Pty Ltd (respondents), the manufacturers of Alucobond PE cladding, with possible class actions pending in relation to other manufacturers of PE core cladding products.

Since the time of the fire in 2014, our Members have endured sustained attacks and accusations, by regulators, bureaucrats and organisations, who themselves were ‘asleep at the wheel’, bringing our Members and industry participants into disrepute, impacting their professional and personal reputations.

Government regulators and their advisors all failed to act on information they had that polyethylene-core panels would not pass the building code’s combustibility requirements and ignored expert warnings going as far back as 1990.

Despite industries attempts to provide regulators with practical and reasonable solutions to deal with the thousands of buildings in similar situations to Lacrosse and Neo200, there is still no agreement on what to do with the existing cladding, as well as no clear understanding by the wider construction industry, and the consumer is still none the wiser yet here we are five years after Lacrosse.

The solution to prevent further issues relies on firstly recognising that government, regulators and industry have all played a part in allowing ACPs with a polyethylene-core and other products to be used in an inappropriate manner.  We now have to rely on the same group to address the existing buildings with cladding issues.

The AIB, at both state and national levels, is currently proactively working to find a resolution to this critical matter through our ongoing participation with bodies and forums including:

  • Building Ministers Forum
  • Senate enquiry
  • ABCB
  • ACIF
  • National Cladding Summit

Our primary responsibilities are to our member base and the building industry at large and we shall continue to work closely, update, advise, educate and advocate on behalf of all stakeholders.

Download PDF

COALITION BUILDS OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION

Kelly O’Dwyer MP / Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations & Minister for Women

Media Release

COALITION BUILDS OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION

The Coalition Government is determined to see more women in work in Australia’s building and construction industry, our nation’s third largest industry.

Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations and Minister for Women, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, announced on International Women’s Day funding of $675,000 for Women Building Australia, a construction industry led program to increase the participation of young women working in the sector.

“The construction industry is Australia’s third largest industry and employs more than one million Australians,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

“With an additional 300,000 people needed to enter the industry over the next decade, there are great professional and career opportunities for Australian women in the sector.”

“Whilst the sector has traditionally been male dominated, statistics have shown that women working in the building and construction industry leads to better business performance and workplace morale, and a decrease in mental illness rates.”

“By introducing more Australian girls to the industry, and supporting Australian women already in the industry, we can build a great future for women working in building and construction.”

Through a national mentoring program and a national career expo program Women Building Australia will promote, retain encourage and empower women to enter and remain in the building and construction industry.

Today’s announcement follows a successful 12-month trial of the Women Building Australia program.

The funding will be provided as part of the Coalition Government’s Women’s Leadership and Development Program.

“Whilst there are more women in work than ever before, with women’s full time employment and the female participation rate reaching record highs last month, we want to see even more women active in the workforce, including in the building and construction industry,” Minister O’Dwyer concluded.

 

Media contacts: Lachlan McNaughton 0433 642 145, Scott Barnes 0436 611 632

The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Melbourne

THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT – WEEK THAT WAS …

This week has seen a significant amount of AIB representation at activities focussed on cladding. I have had a few days involvement in the public arena with the assistance of our CEO Greg Hughes.

Grenfell Towers

I started the week last Monday attending a presentation hosted at RMIT’s School of Property, Construction and Project Management with support from the Victorian Building Association, the Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Future Fuels CRC. Dame Judith Hackitt presented to industry, government and community representatives this morning about her Building a Safer Future final report.

The event included an outline of the Victorian response from Ted Baillieu – Chair of the Cladding Task Force in Victoria & a regulators update from Sue Eddy CEO at the VBA who both signalled action and the current progress in identifying buildings and the urgent action still required in response following the recent Neo200 fire.

Dame Judith was then provided the majority of the two hour period to provide a presentation to outline the key issues to an audience of approximately 200 industry, government and community representatives about her Building a Safer Future final report. The UK government has already indicated the 53 recommendations in the report will be adopted in full.

2nd Annual Cladding Summit – Sydney

The focus then moved to NSW for Wednesday and Thursday with both Greg and I attending and facilitating the program for the Safe Cladding, Buildings and Façade Innovation Summit in Sydney. I provided the Opening Address for both days of the summit with Greg chairing the program for day 1, and I chaired the program for day 2.

The conference attracted a wide range of practitioners across building, regulation, local government, government agencies, fire engineers, private building surveyors, certified testing bodies and product suppliers. We opened with an address from Minister Karen Andrews MP – Chair of the BMF. International speakers included Roy Wilsher and Gary Strong from the UK. Our local experts included Adam Dalrymple, Jonathan Barnett, Stephen Halliday, Andrew Harris and John Prendergast. We also had additional panel sessions and case studies that covered all areas impacted with respect to safe cladding including fire safety, essential services, testing, verification, compliance, digital transformation to enhance safety, sustainability and performance, financing and insurance, remediation and rectification of at risk buildings, local government building compliance and management and alternative solutions.

The key message was the use of PE core materials is a significant hazard, the size of the problem will include a large number of buildings in both the residential and commercial sectors, while new buildings now have bans on ACP with PE cores greater than 30% no consistent solution is being offered across all states to start the process of re-cladding and making safe existing structures.

Roy Wilsher – Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council (UK) provided the full detail of the fire brigade response around the fire at Grenfell Tower and the subsequent enquiry which has taken statements from some 400 people with respect to events leading up to the fire as well as the actions on the day.

Andrew Harris – Director, Technical Futures and Engineering Excellence Group at Laing O’Rourke gave a stunning presentation of disruptive change for future construction systems and the likely way forward that may include cladding and building systems that are radically different from products that are currently available.

We closed the conference on Thursday evening and then received details of the VCAT Decision released by Judge Woodward on 28 February 2019 in relation to the Lacrosse Fire.

While the news headline was talking sensationally about damages of $5.75m being awarded for Lacrosse owners. Despite the sensational headline an entirely different picture of the VCAT decision is revealed by actually referring to the 227 page report.

Some key statements identified within the first dozen pages probably frame the decision with more clarity than the headline and the summary starts at pages 7 & 8

  • However, the Builder did not fail to exercise reasonable care …
  • The Building Surveyor breached its Consultant Agreement with the developer executed in January or February 2010 and later novated to The Builder (“GG Consultant Agreement”), by failing to exercise due care …
  • The Architect breached its Consultant Agreement with the developer executed on about 4 August 2010 and later novated to The Builder (“EF Consultant Agreement”) by failing to exercise due care …
  • The Fire Engineer breached its Consultant Agreement with the developer executed on about 9 July 2010 and later novated to The Builder (“TN Consultant Agreement”) by failing to exercise due care …

This decision may not be the end of the matter, but it shows for this project and its owners they now have a damages decision, the finance and insurance industries are already working to complete the recladding work, and this building will soon be among the list of those that have been made safe. This is only one of thousands facing similar cladding problems.

However our industry will face increased attention in the coming weeks and months, and as this week has shown all jurisdictions are yet to have a clear path forward. It appears all States don’t want to be the first to legislate a solution for the industry and the preparedness to identify what buildings need action is also mixed across the country.

This decision will also have an impact downstream for building owners and managers around essential services maintenance, and proper record keeping along with independent verification that buildings once completed must be correctly maintained for the life of the building. Life safety issues will gain a larger importance with regulators and body corporate committees can no longer avoid keeping their buildings safe because they can’t make a decision on necessary works.

So perhaps this is the ideal time to recognise that government, regulators and industry have all played a part up to this point, in allowing ACP and other products to be previously used in a non-compliant manner. The solution therefore relies on all of the same players now working together to quickly address the existing buildings that need rework to this dangerous cladding.

David Burnell FAIB
National President
Australian Institute of Building

THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT – WEEK THAT WAS …

This week saw the NSW State Government release the final report from the independent investigation into Sydney’s Opal Tower issue/s.

As articulated by the NSW State Government (media release), one of the biggest recommendations related to the report is about ‘registering engineers’. The AIB welcomes Minister Kean’s response as a good first step – builders need to have confidence in the engineering as well as other design professions as much as the public. The statutory registration of engineers in NSW is a welcome addition of both transparency and accountability to the industry. We look to other jurisdictions to also follow this lead, and note Victoria already registers professional practitioners in many of the engineering disciplines.

It is also pleasing that Minister Kean in his statement talks about ‘the strength of the National Construction Code’ (NCC) as well as Australian building standards in terms of building safety. Not surprisingly, the AIB, is committed to this type of thinking.

Again, our call is that industry should be able to rely on a national framework for construction led by all state, territory and federal Ministers using the National Code with a uniform interpretation of the specific requirements. We must adopt a regime of national licencing for all building practitioners and this must be complemented by an industry wide approach to continuing professional development for all licence holders.

Regulators must start to sit up and take greater notice of what needs immediate reform / change.

Equally, the AIB will continue to push hard at every opportunity our support of the Shergold Weir Report and its recommendations for a better industry as the baseline for all jurisdictions. Notwithstanding all of this, I reiterate the strong message we offered at the recent Building Ministers Forum. The position of the AIB is that – as an industry Building Construction represents more than 10% of Australia’s workforce and more than 12% of Australia’s GDP, surely it is time as we head into a federal election we consider how a dedicated Federal Minister of Building and Construction might be just the champion we are looking for in matters of consistency in ‘building outcomes across Australia’ that we continue to talk about on a daily basis.

David Burnell FAIB
National President, Australian Institute of Building

POSITIVE STEPS FORWARD FROM THE BUILDING MINISTERS FORUM

From National President, David Burnell and CEO, Greg Hughes

The AIB was last week invited to attend and present to the Building Ministers Forum (BMF) in Hobart along with 21 other industry and employer groups as a follow up to the last meeting held in August 2018.

Our task was to report on … What is industry doing to support cultural change?

While our response was around some of the work we have been involved in through seminars, presentations etc, it also highlighted our support to the Shergold Weir Report, as well as work we have done with the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) and Standards Australia (SA).

The Shergold Weir Report clearly identified that our current regulatory system is not robust and the headline grabbing failures of recent times can only be improved if all the parties take action.

This industry should be able to rely on a national framework for construction led by this group of Ministers that includes:
• 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;
Following the meeting in Tasmania, an official Communique was released that highlighted some of the key outcomes of the gathering:

BMF Communique

The AIB also noted that the NSW Government’s Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean issued a press release late yesterday (10/02/19) articulating ‘plans to improve the building and construction industry’.

NSW Government release

While the Institute is cognisant of a looming NSW election, the fact remains that whichever party is successful at the ballot box, the AIB supports the establishment of a Building Commissioner who would in effect, take responsibility for licensing and auditing of practitioners.

This model is one that should be replicated across the country in all states and territories.

The AIB is also in a strong position to support states and territories who execute an initiative such as this with the National Building Professionals Register (NBPR).

Some Government licensing bodies refer to the NBPR as a guide for an assessment of professional competence.

The Institute welcomes this positive news across many fronts.

‘The AIB supports the need for a robust system of certification, licencing and education for Project Managers and other professionals within our organisation’

BUILDING MINISTERS’ FORUM COMMUNIQUE

8 February 2019

The Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) met today in Hobart to discuss progress with priority issues relating to the safety of Australian buildings, and public confidence in the building and construction industry.

Ministers discussed recent events at Opal Tower in Sydney and the Neo200 building in Melbourne and the impact on residents, owners and the Australian community. The events reinforce the importance of continuing the work already underway in all states and territories to implement the recommendations in the BMF commissioned, Building Confidence Report.

Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to developing a joint response to the recommendations of the Report.  The BMF will release the joint implementation plan setting out the direction of the proposed reforms of each jurisdiction by the end of February 2019. While all jurisdictions are implementing reforms to achieve the outcomes proposed by the Report, Ministers agreed that wherever possible jurisdictions will adopt reforms consistent with those in place or proposed in other jurisdictions.

Industry representatives joined Ministers to discuss initiatives they are leading to complement BMF led reforms and to identify areas for further work. This includes continuing to improve education to lift the competency of building practitioners, and making sure they have the right information to allow them to do the right thing. Progress with educational and guidance material being developed by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) that underpins several of the Building Confidence Report recommendations was also discussed.

The Industry Roundtable was also an opportunity to discuss the appropriate use of Aluminium Composite Panels (ACPs).  It was noted the National Construction Code (NCC) already restricts the use of these products. Industry and Ministers agreed the focus should remain on enforcing the Code to ensure public safety and trust in our buildings. As such, governments and industry will work together to ensure our building standards are adhered to.

Ministers agreed in principle to a national ban on the unsafe use of combustible ACPs in new construction, subject to a cost/benefit analysis being undertaken on the proposed ban, including impacts on the supply chain, potential impacts on the building industry, any unintended consequences, and a proposed timeline for implementation.  Ministers will further consider this at their next meeting.

Ministers also supported in-principle that building practitioners should owe a duty of care to building owners (and subsequent building owners) for residential construction work and certain commercial construction for small business, and if required this should be provided for in legislation.  This will be considered again at a future BMF meeting.

Ministers were updated on work to develop an Australian Standard for permanent labelling of ACPs. To fast track this work it was agreed that a Technical Specification will be put in place first.

The ABCB presented the 2019  edition of the NCC that was released on 1 February 2019. Changes in NCC 2019  further enhance fire safety with new requirements for apartment buildings and other residential buildings above three storeys and below 25 metres to have fire sprinkler systems installed.  There are also new requirements for accessible ‘adult change facilities’ in large public buildings such as sporting venues and airport terminals.

Ministers welcomed yesterday’s announcement from Standards Australia that they will be exploring additional distribution channels following the decision of the independent arbitrator late last year. The BMF requested the Australian Government to continue working closely with Standards Australia to explore models of improved pricing and access, including an option on a genuine cost recovery basis and to report back to the BMF.

To support the COAG Energy Council’s commitment to a trajectory for low energy buildings the BMF have asked the ABCB to provide further advice on:

  1. Any changes to the trajectory to ensure delivery is in collaboration with industry;
  2. A holistic review of the energy efficiency provisions in the NCC; and
  3. A regulatory impact process which can take account of regional differences.

Ministers also received an update from the ABCB on their project to examine the allowable level of lead in plumbing products. Ministers noted that consumers could assure themselves about plumbing by engaging licensed plumbers and purchasing plumbing products that carry the ABCB’s WaterMark certification.

Ministers also discussed the National Review of Security of Payment Laws, and agreed the Senior Officers’ Group will develop model legislation for deemed statutory trusts, for jurisdictions to draw upon.

The BMF will meet again in July 2019.

ABCC LAUNCHES CASE AGAINST CFMMEU IN NT OVER THREATS AND INTIMIDATION AT PALMERSTON POLICE STATION SITE

The ABCC has commenced proceedings against the CFMMEU and six of its Queensland-based officials alleging they intimidated NT Worksafe Inspectors and demanded that the head contractor shut down construction at the Palmerston Police Station site.

The case, which has been filed in the Federal Court in Darwin, means that the ABCC currently has a case in every state and territory against the CFMMEU’s construction division.

The $30 million Palmerston Police Station project is an important law and order and community safety facility.

When completed the facility will provide 24-hour police services to the community, including a new Emergency Response Operations Centre and providing for up to 200 police to deliver policing services to the region.

In addition to the allegation of intimidation, the ABCC is also claiming the union officials engaged in adverse action, coercion and misrepresentation while at the site and acted in an improper manner while exercising right of entry.

The ABCC alleges in its statement of claim that during a site entry on 14 May 2018:

• The head contractor called ABCC officers and NT Worksafe Inspectors to the site after two of the CFMMEU officials repeatedly demanded that the contractor shut the site down claiming there were safety issues and threatened that the contractor would “pay the price” if it failed to do so.

• After the ABCC officers attended the site, three of the CFMMEU officials told the site’s Health and Safety Advisor that they were going to make it hard on him because the ABCC had attended the site and because NT WorkSafe Inspectors were coming.

• The same three CFMMEU officials said to the Health and Safety Advisor words to the effect that “we’re going to go through ya now”.

• When NT Worksafe officers arrived at the site, two of the CFMMEU officials – Arturo Menon and Roland Cummins behaved in an intimidating manner towards the Worksafe officers.

• Mr Menon also gave workers misleading information advising them they could leave the site on full pay due to safety concerns.

The maximum penalty in this case is $63,000 for a body corporate and $12,600 for an individual.

QUEENSLAND’S BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY SET FOR FURTHER REFORM 2019

Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni said that maintaining confidence in Queensland’s $46 billion a year industry was paramount in the wake of concerns raised over the structural integrity of NSW high rise apartment development, Opal.

“A strong industry, employing hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders is vitally important,” Mr de Brenni said. “But so is the safety of Queenslanders, which is a top priority of the Palaszczuk Government.”

Mr de Brenni said that whilst questions have been raised about the builder and certifier in the Opal case, it is the whole system that needs attention.

“The building and construction industry in Australia has seen decades of deregulation, largely in the pursuit of productivity.

“That has created a race to the bottom  and as a result, confidence in the building integrity system has been undermined.”

Mr de Brenni said that through collaboration with industry, sweeping reforms were being methodically implemented in Queensland to restore confidence.

In 2016  the Palaszczuk Government commenced a comprehensive examination of the building and construction regulatory system with a focus to ensure Queenslanders have the utmost confidence in our built environment.

Then, in 2017,  the Palaszczuk Government published the Queensland Building Plan (QBP).

The QBP sets out a reform program across the building and construction industry covering everything from building product safety, through to security of payments and the important issue of building certification.

“Queensland is much  further down the path of restoring effective regulation and oversight within the construction industry than other states, including the introduction of nation leading non-conforming building product laws to ensure the safety of Queenslanders.

“2019 will see a continuation of the implementation of the QBP reforms, and reform to building certification is a key step for 2019.

During 2019  the Palaszczuk Government will be advancing several reforms that will strengthen independence and improve professional standards and compliance of certifiers.

“We will enhance the regulatory oversight for certifiers including making improvements to the disciplinary framework, we will end the practice of builders being able to shop around during a project to get the answers that suit them and ensure that the sector has a highly trained and skilled workforce.

“The Palaszczuk Government reforms will improve accountability and processes in the certification sector and restore consumer confidence.

Mr de Brenni said the QBP reforms put Queensland in a strong position following the findings of the Shergold Weir

Report, commissioned by building Ministers nationally in 2017.

“Queensland had adopted all the recommendations in the report, noting that in most cases our standards were already at or above those proposed in the report, and where there are gaps, these are identified and will be rectified through the implementation of the QBP in 2019.

The Queensland Building Plan also furnished the QBCC with new powers of investigation to ensure industry regulations are being properly complied with.

The QBCC will use these new powers to consider the activities of the builder and certifier in the Opal case.

“Queenslanders deserve to expect their buildings are safe and secure and built to required standards with products that are fit for purpose, this is why I have also asked the Queensland Building and Construction Commission to use its new powers to look into the activities of the Opal builder and certifier in Queensland.

Mr de Brenni said no government projects involved the builder in question in the Opal case.

The QBCC is continually monitoring building activity around the state and conducts regular audits of building sites. During the last financial year, they inspected approximately 5,820  sites and issued 827 Directions to Rectify.

The QBCC takes swift action should building defects be identified, and licensees must comply with a direction to rectify otherwise they face financial and disciplinary penalties.

The Commission also investigates compliance with the Building Act, which governs certifiers and the National Construction Code, which regulates the standard of buildings.

In addition, the Government has established a Board of Engineers and Architects, both of which conduct investigations into the professional conduct of those occupations.

Details of investigations are presented in each of the authorities’ annual reports.

“Prevention is far better than cure, so the QBCC can now take proactive steps to identify any areas of concern here in our State.”

Mr de Brenni said the issue of regulatory standards, the responsibilities of State and Territories needed a high level of attention in each jurisdiction to ensure a robust national system.

“At the next Building Ministers’ Forum  due in February, I will demand the federal government and all states and territories ensure they are meeting the high standards Queensland has set.”

Media: 0427  018 178