Since 2003, Master Builders have consistently advocated the importance of sharing the statutory liability related to building projects with all professionals in the building chain. Until now this liability has been shouldered by builders alone.
We have always believed that a licensing system is fundamental to the competency of practitioners, quality of work, and consumer confidence in the building industry. It provides a mechanism for consumer protection and a compliance process to address unacceptable practises and poor performance.
After decades of calling for the inclusion of architects, designers, and engineers into the construction licensing system, Master Builders 'cautiously' welcomes the passage of the Bill. Whilst there are details that remain to be seen how they will work in practice, we believe the Bill, effective 1st July 2021, will increase accountability in the construction sector and improve confidence for consumers.
Issues that the Bill considers include:
- Registration required for all building practitioners, designers and engineers.
- It is likely that if a builder holds a builders licence then they will be entitled to registration under this legislation. Building practitioners includes those doing alterations, additions, repairs, renovations and protective treatments.
- Insurance is required for all building practitioners, designers and engineers. Exact details of the insurance requirements are yet to be announced.
- Declarations are required from the building practitioner that:
- the building work complies with the Building Code of Australia;
- a design compliance declaration has been obtained from a registered design practitioner for the building elements; and
- the building work complies with that regulated design.
- Declarations are required from a registered design practitioner that the design for the building elements comply with the Building Code of Australia and other applicable requirements. Building elements are defined as internal and external load-bearing components, a component of the building enclosure, waterproofing, fire safety systems, and mechanical, plumbing and electrical services;
- There are various enforcement and investigation powers.
The Regulations will set out the classes of buildings to which the above regime will be imposed. The Government has indicated that it will apply to Class 2 initially but will be extended to all classes over time. Much of the detail of this new regime, including registration and insurance requirements, will be set out in the regulations which are expected later this year.
Further the Bill imposes a statutory duty of care on any person who does construction work to exercise reasonable care to avoid economic loss caused by defects. This duty commenced on 11 June 2020 but is retrospective, so applies to defects discovered up to 6 years ago on buildings up to 10 years old.
If members have any inquiries then please call 02 8586 3517.