Last month, the Building Ministers’ Forum (‘BMF’) released details of their plans for implementation of reforms to the nation’s building and construction industry in response to the Shergold Weir Building Confidence Report (February 2018).
The Shergold Weir report was commissioned by the BMF following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017 and growing concerns over the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems in the building and construction industry in Australia.
The authors of the report, Peter Shergold and Bronwyn Weir, concluded that the nature and extent of the problems with compliance and enforcement systems in place across Australia were “significant and concerning” and that these problems have led to “diminishing public confidence that the building and construction industry can deliver compliant, safe buildings which will perform to the expected standards over the long term.” (Shergold Weir Report page 3).
The Shergold Weir report made 24 recommendations intended to address the weaknesses identified in Australia’s compliance and enforcement systems, with the suggestion that they be implemented over a three-year period.
Now, nearly one year on from the publication of the report, the BMF has released its implementation plan. The plan outlines a roadmap for reform, including target timeframes. It recognises however that all jurisdictions, whilst committed to making reforms, are not at the same stage and timing of the reforms will need to be tailored to the different regulatory systems which apply in the States and Territories.
The BMF has prioritised six (6) recommendations which it believes would benefit from a consistent national approach. Those recommendations identified as BMF priorities are:
- That each jurisdiction requires the registration of the following categories of building practitioners involved in the design construction and maintenance of buildings:
- Site or Project Manager
- Building Surveyor
- Building Inspector
- Fire Safety Practitioner
- That each jurisdiction prescribes consistent requirements for the registration of building practitioners including certificated training, additional competency and experience requirements, compulsory insurance where available and evidence of practitioner integrity.
- That each jurisdiction establishes minimum statutory controls to mitigate conflicts of interest and increase transparency of the engagement and responsibilities of private building surveyors.
- That each jurisdiction put in place a code of conduct for building surveyors which address the key matters which, if contravened, would be a ground for a disciplinary inquiry.
- That each jurisdiction provides private building surveyors with enhanced supervisory powers and mandatory reporting obligations.
- That each jurisdiction requires building approval documentation to be prepared by appropriate categories of registered practitioners demonstrating that the proposed building complies with the National Construction Code.
The implementation plan report also includes summaries of the reforms underway and planned by each of the States and Territories.
You can read a copy of the Shergold Weir Building Confidence report here: https://www.industry.gov.au/sites/g/files/net3906/f/July%202018/document/pdf/building_ministers_forum_expert_assessment_-_building_confidence.pdf
And the BMF Building Confidence Report Implementation Plan here:
To hear more about non-compliance and the use of non-conforming products, come along to our webinar on the Lacrosse Judgment on 11 April. (Discounts available for Planned Cover clients and some association members – contact us for details).