SCA (NSW) met with the Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation on Wednesday, 31 July to discuss a seven-point plan that strata industry representatives had devised to address the failures in building standards and the flammable cladding issues that are plaguing apartment owners and residents.
SCA (NSW) President, Chris Duggan, encouraged the NSW Government to legislate to seek compensation from builders who have created the problem. He warned that tens of thousands of NSW strata owners are being stuck with the costs of fixing the problems left by dodgy builders and the flammable cladding crisis.
It was highlighted to the Minister that NSW will face potentially the largest class action this state has ever seen if it fails to provide consumers with some relief and guarantees.
A submission has also been released by SCA (NSW) that was made to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Building Standards.
The seven-point plan that was presented to the Minister is outlined below:
- Reintroduction of a robust and accessible Home Owners Warranty Insurance scheme for all levels of strata development, removing the current four-storey exclusion.
- Increasing the two-year statutory warranty period to at least three years.
- Along the lines of the precedent now established in Victoria, provide an assistance package for cladding and structurally affected schemes. This may include a combination of subsidised loans, rate/taxation relief on insurance products and other financial assistance.
- Legislate within the regulatory framework for builders, developers, designers, and certifiers a clear duty of care to owners and owners corporations.
- Legislate a statutory chain of responsibility through the entire design and construction cycle
- Introduce mandatory supervision of private certification.
- Introduce a record of occupation certificates accessible to owners corporations that is separate from NSW Fair Trading. This will avoid any conflict of interest with its regulatory functions and enforcement of compliance, licensing and administration of home building compensation fund.
As always SCA (NSW) will keep members updated on these issues and the outcomes from the meeting with the Minister.