Building Industry Update: New Practice Standard for Registered Certifiers

The NSW Government has released a new practice standard for registered certifiers. The standard has been developed as part of the building regulation reforms spearheaded by the NSW Building Commissioner, David Chandler OAM, and is focussed on certifiers of residential apartment buildings. The standard is intended to achieve the following: Provide a clear, accessible and specified standard of what is expected of certifiers in undertaking their role and functions. Clarify the professional obligations and conduct of certifiers as public officials. Reinforce the difference in the role of the certifier from builders and other building practitioners. Enhance the accountability and responsibility of certifiers. The practice standard is a comprehensive guide for certifiers on their obligations and walks certifiers through the following topics: Certifiers as public officials Conflicts of interest Construction certificates for building work Inspections of building work Occupation certificates Documentary evidence Compliance The standard has been prepared pursuant to section 14 of the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018.  That section provides that a registered certifier’s conditions of registration may require the certifier to carry out their certification…

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NSW Building Reforms

Recently, there have been two new acts introduced in NSW that will have a considerable impact on the building and construction industry. Collectively known as ‘the Reforms’, these acts are: The Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (the DBP). The Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 (the RAB). The objective of the Reforms is to ensure NSW’s building industry is constructing trustworthy buildings and delivering quality projects to consumers. The Reforms seek to increase the standard of current works, ensuring all work and materials used onsite are compliant with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Australian standards. The purpose behind the push to change the building and construction industry is to ensure the entire team involved in the construction process is both accountable and performing at optimum standard, rather than targeting individual players. The greatest accountability rests with the Developer (principal) as the individual/entity responsible for delivery of a product to consumers. The Reforms are to protect homeowners and ensure a quality and safe product. Part of this will see the regulator attending sites…

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BREAKING NEWS: SIGNIFICANT BUILDING INDUSTRY CHANGES TO COME AS NSW PARLIAMENT RELEASES FINAL REPORT

NSW Parliament releases “Regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes” final report. The final report of the Public Accountability Committee, “Regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes” was tabled by NSW Parliament on 30 April 2020. The report and its 22 significant recommendations are being considered by the government which must provide a response within six months. The 22 recommendations from the lengthy report are as follows: Recommendation 1 That the NSW Government introduce and debate the powers bill granting the NSW Building Commissioner new powers to ensure building standards as a matter of urgency when the NSW Parliament is reconvened in May 2020, with prompt circulation of the proposed bill to members of Parliament. Recommendation 2 That the NSW Government resume debate on the Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 as a matter of urgency when the NSW Parliament is reconvened in May 2020. Recommendation 3 That the NSW Government empower the NSW Building Commissioner to oversee all licencing inspections, within the newly created Building Commission. Further, that the Building Commission hire additional,…

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NSW Government Draws Up 6 Pillar Plan – Is this A Concrete Solution?

NSW Update: Legislative Reforms In a Nutshell Ahead of the upcoming Building Ministers Forum to take place in February 2020, the Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation the Hon. Kevin Anderson issued a press release on 21 January 2020 outlining six different reform workstreams that the government proposes to implement – titled “Pillars of Reform”. The Minister proposes presenting the proposed “pillars” at the next Building Ministers Forum in February 2020. Key reforms being proposed to shake up the industry include: Introduction of a ratings system to rank the track record of industry participants – builders, developers, certifiers across a range of criteria. Providing the NSW Building Commissioner with a large stick to wield against dodgy operators by stopping building works and removing an occupation certificate for problematic projects. The New Workstream Pillars The “pillar” concept referred to in Minister Anderson’s press release involve the formulation of work streams that will be actioned by working groups the government will populate with participants from different areas of the construction industry.  It is envisioned that the separate workstreams will work…

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Security of Payment Act – Return of the Magic Words & 8 Other Key Amendments

https://player.vimeo.com/video/385135130 NSW Update: Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 Like all good things, change has come to the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (“the Act”), with effect to building contracts entered into from 21 October 2019.  The amendment comes on the back of the Jim Murray AM report into subcontractor payment disputes. While the words of Don Draper, the colourful fictional advertising executive with an enlarged liver who appeared in the award winning TV serial Mad Men, could be paraphrased as change to the Act is neither bad nor good, it simply is – he didn’t ever have to deal with construction payment disputes and the amendments to the Act are largely an improvement in a number of respects. This is not a review of all amendments many of which are by way of clarification only and we discuss in this update some of the key changes, being: A return to the requirement that payment claims identify that they are made under the Act – containing the ‘magic words’ – this is…

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