news 19 April 2024

Association backs comprehensive building review

Association backs comprehensive building review

The Association of Building Consultants welcomes the recent announcement by Andrea Michaels MP, Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs, regarding the comprehensive review of South Australia’s building regulations.

Ahead of what is anticipated to be the most significant overhaul in nearly two decades, the Association has called for urgent reforms to ensure better consumer protection and streamlined dispute resolution processes within the construction industry.

Association of Building Consultants spokesperson, Chris Short, said: “We commend the State Government for acknowledging key matters identified in our submission, jointly prepared in cooperation with the Housing Industry Association and Master Builders Association, particularly the need to strengthen existing building laws, introduce easier dispute resolution for consumers and reduce the financial burden of dispute resolution for all parties involved,” Mr Short said.

The Association highlights the efficacy of a refined dispute resolution system, reminiscent of the now-defunct Commercial Tribunal, which facilitated adjudication on building disputes under the guidance of a presiding Magistrate. Re-instating such a system could significantly enhance consumer confidence and ensure fair outcomes for all stakeholders.

“The Association is also advocating for implementation of a permit system for owner-builders to address the pervasive issue of unlicensed builders masquerading as owner-builders. This long-standing concern, which has lingered unresolved for decades, continues to pose substantial risks to consumers and undermines the integrity of the construction industry,” he said.

“It’s imperative that DIY tradesmen undertaking building work in their own homes adhere to the same quality standards and regulatory oversight as licensed builders. Introducing a permit system for owner-builders is a crucial step towards ensuring accountability and safeguarding consumer interests.”

Additionally, the Association supports the mandatory registration of building inspectors to uphold the integrity of pre-purchase inspections of South Australian homes.

“The quality of inspection reports directly correlates with the expertise of the inspector. Mandatory registration will help identify and weed out those unqualified individuals operating in the industry and help to restore consumer confidence.”

“The lack of regulation currently within the building consultancy sector has far-reaching implications, extending from builders and their clients to purchasers of existing homes. The untrained building inspectors in the industry often provide misleading, inaccurate, or incomplete reports, leading to unwarranted delays, financial losses and emotional distress for homeowners.”

“The Association of Building Consultants and our Members appreciate the opportunity to participate in upcoming public consultation activity, ahead of much-needed legislative changes to address the pressing issues plaguing the building and construction industry,” Mr Short said.

“Enhanced consumer protection measures are urgently needed, and we stand ready to collaborate with policymakers to enact meaningful reforms.”