Queensland’s Building and Construction industry is set for further reform in 2019. Mick de Brenni, Minister for Housing and Public Works, has said that maintaining confidence in Queensland’s $46 billion a year industry was paramount.
The building and construction industries in Australia have seen decades of deregulation, which has created a race to the bottom and as a result, confidence in the building integrity system has been undermined.
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.
The Queensland Building Plan (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 vital issue of building certification. Two thousand nineteen will see a continuation of the implementation of the QBP reforms, and reform to building certification is a crucial step for 2019.
During 2019 the Palaszczuk Government will be advancing several reforms that will strengthen the independence and improve professional standards and compliance of certifiers. This will include the enhancement of regulatory oversight for certifiers including making improvements to the disciplinary framework, ending the practice of builders being able to shop around during a project to get the answers that suit them.
The new reforms will improve accountability and processes in the certification sector and restore consumer confidence.
The Queensland Building Plan also furnished the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) with new powers of investigation to ensure industry regulations are being duly complied. 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 locations and issued 827 Directions to Rectify.
The Commission also investigates compliance with the Building Act, which governs certifiers and the National Construction Code, which regulates the standard of buildings. Also, the Government has established a Board of Engineers and Architects, both of which conduct investigations into the professional conduct of those occupations.