Disappointed building leader calls on Ramsay to delay bill

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MASTER Builders ACT is calling on the ACT government to delay the commencement of a bill, which would make company directors liable for building defects, until a genuine stakeholder consultation is done. 

Master Builders CEO Michael Hopkins

The Master Builders ACT made the calls in a submission to the ACT Legislative Assembly Inquiry into the “Building and Construction Amendment Bill 2019” today (November 13).

Master Builders ACT CEO Michael Hopkins says the bill will result in many unintended consequences for good quality builders in the ACT.

“And [it won’t] do anything to address the legacy problems created through government’s failure to address building quality in the past,” he says.

“All state and territory building ministers made a landmark agreement in July this year to implement the Building Confidence Report prepared by expert’s Bronwyn Weir and Peter Shergold.

“It is disappointing that the ACT Minister has acted unilaterally, in isolation from his peers in other states and without any stakeholder consultation to introduce these laws. ”

Now, Mr Hopkins is calling on the ACT government to remain focused on working with the other state and territory ministers, and industry, to implement the 24 recommendations of the Building Confidence Report.

“A key issue that remains unanswered is the degree of conflict with Commonwealth Law,” he says.

“The MBA is calling on Minister Ramsay to release the legal advice he received that addresses the potential conflict between the proposed ACT law and any Federal law or regulation.

“Laws already exist which allow the ACT Building Regulator to take disciplinary action against licensed builders and building companies to hold them responsible for the rectification of defective work.

“Aside from the potential to impact local employment, the introduction of these laws will cause compliance and insurance costs to increase and experienced directors will back away from the boards of local building companies.

“We urge the Minister to consider the negative impacts and flow on effects that the proposed laws will have on the local building and construction industry.

“In order to achieve the best outcomes on building quality improvement, we encourage the Minister to engage with the local industry and key stakeholders on future reforms.”

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