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The Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) notes that the recent anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire in London is a timely reminder of the need for consistent and effective regulation and licensing in the construction industry to ensure the safety and quality of our built environment.
The report of Professor Peter Shergold AC and Bronwyn Weir to the Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) is an important step towards these aims. ACIF advocates that the recommendations of the report are urgently considered by the BMF and all sectors of the industry work together to implement the recommendations.
Acting ACIF Chair, John Held, stated: “The recommendations regarding a nationally consistent approach to the registration of certain categories of building practitioners and compulsory Continuing Professional Development, which includes mandatory hours or units dedicated to training on the National Construction Code, are significant.
Mr Held added: “The recommendations in the Shergold-Weir Report regarding the independence of building surveyors and the role of fire authorities in the building design and approvals process are valuable and also need to be progressed.
“The report also recommends a central database in each jurisdiction, and collaboration to develop a platform that can provide for information sharing to inform regulatory activities and the work of the BMF. For commercial buildings it would include a comprehensive digital building manual which can be passed on to successive owners. These recommendations are in line with ACIF’s long-standing efforts regarding Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the creation of the Australasian BIM Advisory Board (ABAB).
“The Shergold-Weir Report also recommends that the BMF agrees its position on the establishment of a compulsory product certification system for high-risk building products.
“At present there also is a Federal Parliamentary inquiry into non-conforming building products in the Australian building and construction industry.
“This report of this inquiry has been delayed numerous times and was last due to be delivered in April this year. ACIF keenly awaits the release of this report”, Mr Held commented.
“The Shergold-Weir report recommends a commitment to a three-year timetable for the implementation of the recommendations and that the BMF establish a plan for implementation which is reported against by each jurisdiction annually.”
“ACIF concurs with these recommendations and urges the Building Ministers’ Forum to adopt and implement the recommendations of the Shergold-Weir Report in systematic, timely and considered fashion”, Mr Held said.
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