Building Minister’s ‘dodgy’ wording hurts property sector

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CONFIDENCE is further deteriorating in the building sector following comments by Building Minister Gordon Ramsay who referred to members of the local property and construction sector as “dodgy”, according to Master Builders ACT. 

Master Builders ACT CEO Michael Hopkins says these comments by Mr Ramsay against the industry were made during a recent announcement to introduce a licensing scheme for property developers.

Master Builders CEO Michael Hopkins

“Revelations across Australia about poor building practices and historic failures by Government building regulators to enforce building laws, have led to a deterioration in confidence in the sector and in Government regulators,” Mr Hopkins says.

“Continual reference to the local property and construction sector as ‘dodgy’ by our own Minister is adding to this loss of confidence.

“The local building and construction sector employs around 20,000 people and comprises mostly small and family businesses. The many high quality businesses in the sector are sick and tired of hearing their Minister call them ‘dodgy’.

“The MBA has been calling for the implementation of building reforms in the ACT for more than a decade and has expressed a strong desire to work with government on the reform process.”

Mr Hopkins says the MBA a supports the ACT government’s objective of dealing with any building practitioner or developer that illegally phoenixes.

“Such practices don’t only impact homeowners, but also leave local subcontractors and suppliers out of pocket,” he says.

“However, our shared objective of improving building quality will not be achieved if the Minister continues to use divisive language and implement new laws without industry consultation.

“In the recent Legislative Assembly Inquiry hearings into building quality, the MBA called on government to implement reforms across the entire building supply chain. This position is consistent with the Building Confidence Report prepared by experts Peter Shergold and Bronwyn Weir in 2018.

“If the ACT government is committed to exploring a licensing system for property developers, it should conduct this investigation holistically and consider the entire building supply chain including designers, engineers, trade contractors, principal contractors and their clients.

“A holistic review of licensing should also consider training standards for new entrants to the industry which is also highlighted in the expert report as a critical element to the improvement of building quality.”

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