Building Reform: Times they are a changin’

By Scott Higgins, Partner

The various Commonwealth and State Government agencies and departments that are responsible for building regulation, compliance and policy-making are not without their action lists at present.  Reform is being proposed across the spectrum in the areas of building products, certification, licencing, compliance and enforcement, payment disputes and adjudication. There is a need for significant change.

The combustible cladding crisis is unlikely to present as a unique and isolated problem in a building industry where regulatory oversight has been minimal and which has been largely left to its own devices.  The boom or bust nature of the industry and high number of insolvencies presents unique challenges for regulators trying to avoid red tape, promote cash flow, and ensure that quality and compliance is not diminished.

This four-part update will tell you what you need to know in respect of some significant changes which have already been legislated, in addition to some of the more ambitious reforms currently being mooted, including:

  1. Combustible cladding and non-compliant building products: a summary of the steps taken in each jurisdiction;
  2. Building Compliance and Enforcement Systems: The Shergold and Weir ‘Building Confidence’ Report;
  3. Draft Exposure Bill revealing proposed amendments to the NSW Security of Payment regime; and
  4. Security of Payment across Australia, Statutory Trusts and Unfair Contract Terms: The Murray Report recommendations discussed

The authors have been closely involved in industry discussions and advocating for appropriate changes.  We will continue to keep you abreast of developments.

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