Time to licence property developers, says union

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THERE is a serious inconsistency between the role of the property developer and the regulative measures they are subject to, says the CFMEU ACT Branch secretary Jason O’Mara in calling for property developers to be licensed.

CFMEU branch secretary Jason OMara.

“Licensing property developers is an important step in improving the overall reputation and operation of the ACT construction industry. We need to ensure that workers and the community are protected from dodgy developers, and a licensing regime will do exactly that.”

“We congratulate Minister Gordon Ramsey and the ACT government on the work they are doing to hold developers accountable and address the building-quality crisis. However, more needs to be done, and we cannot rest on our laurels when it comes to safety and quality.”

The union has prepared a report expanding on the resolution for the licensing of property developers that was passed at the 2019 ACT Labor Branch Conference in July and to support its initial submission to the ACT Government Building Quality Inquiry.

“Clearly, developers wield considerable power in the construction process and play a crucial role as key decision-makers. However, the current legislative framework has failed to hold developers adequately accountable for the safety of workers and the quality of the building product,” the report says.

“We believe that the lack of regulation currently facing developers has allowed them to subvert many of the responsibilities they owe to their workers and to the community, and has been a significant contributor to the increasing instances of poor building quality present in the ACT.

“As such, we argue that property developers should not be exempt from the licensing requirements that others in the construction industry are subjected to, and should be held to higher standards through the enforcement of strict penalties and requirements for any development they are overseeing.”


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