New Building Reform Package

A package of building reforms has been announced by the Minister for Better Regulation, Matt Kean, MP, with the NSW Government following most of the recommendations made in the Shergold Weir report, which was produced for the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors in 2018.

According the NSW Government’s media release it will support:

  • building designers, including engineers, declare that building plans are compliant with the Building Code of Australia;
  • builders declare that buildings have been built according to the plans; and
  • requiring building designers and builders to be registered.

In the release, the Minister acknowledges that Shergold Weir “found that there are national problems in the construction industry.”

He says, “We’ve taken their findings on board and we’re taking strong action to further protect NSW homeowners.”

In addition, the NSW Government will appoint a Building Commissioner to act as the consolidated building regulator in NSW, including the responsibility for licensing and auditing practitioners.

The plan will also clarify the law to ensure there is an industry-wide duty of care to homeowners and owners corporations so that they have the right to compensation where a building practitioner has been negligent.

The Minister has indicated that the plan will ensure those who control the risks – building practitioners – are held responsible for their work.

“People deserve to feel safe in their homes and have confidence that they are buying a quality building,” he said.

Certifier laws were recently strengthened by enacting the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018, a modern planning system was created under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and unsafe building products banned with the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017.