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Navigating the Changing Landscape: Project Intervene

In the world of construction and development in New South Wales, a name that often sparks curiosity, concern, or even fear is David Chandler, the Building Commissioner. But is there truly a war brewing between builders, developers, and the Building Commissioner, or is this a necessary step towards cleaning up the NSW Building and Construction industry?

David Chandler: The New Sheriff in Town

David Chandler has not minced words about his mission to reform the NSW building industry. He’s been actively engaging with builders and developers, making it clear that he intends to bring accountability and integrity to the field, inspecting buildings at various stages, from pre-construction to post-occupation.

The Building Commissioner argues that his actions are aimed at ensuring builders and developers adhere to high standards. But is he genuinely on a mission to dismantle the industry, or is he on the right track to ensure its betterment?

Project Intervene: A Ray of Hope

Recently, the phrase “Project Intervene” has become a common buzzword in the building and construction industry. While some see the Building Commissioner as waging a war, others view Project Intervene as a beacon of hope for resolving disputes without resorting to costly litigation.

Is Project Intervene biased towards owners’ corporations, or could it be beneficial for all parties involved if implemented correctly? This article aims to shed light on the potential benefits of Project Intervene when administered effectively.

Understanding Project Intervene

At Madison Marcus, we’ve observed a growing trend of owners’ corporations registering with Project Intervene to address disputes concerning alleged defects in strata schemes. Often, legal proceedings run concurrently with Project Intervene involvement.

Our experience working with owners’ corporations, builders, and developers has given us insights into the concerns and challenges faced by each party when dealing with Project Intervene. It also enables us to guide them in overcoming these obstacles.

Project Intervene operates under the Building Commissioner and the Department of Customer Services, a division of Fair Trading NSW. One common question is why developers, not just builders, are targeted. The answer lies in the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020, which treats developers as builders and vice versa.

The Project Intervene Process

The Project Intervene process typically begins with the Building Commissioner issuing a notice to the developer, requesting information and records related to ongoing construction or post-construction stages. Once documents are provided, Project Intervene conducts an inspection to prepare an audit report on any defects in the strata scheme.

However, a challenge arises when legal proceedings have already started, leaving developers in a two-front battle. Project Intervene prefers resolving disputes through its process and may incorporate litigation reports into its assessment.

The audit report finalization initiates the Project Intervene process, where developers are encouraged to enter a Deed Poll and later a Deed of Undertaking. The Deed Poll signifies the developer’s commitment to negotiating in good faith and appointing an Undertaking Manager to address defects.

The Voluntary Nature of Project Intervene

It’s crucial to understand that entering into the Deeds is voluntary for both developers and owners’ corporations. While a Deed of Undertaking won’t dismiss existing legal proceedings, terms can be negotiated to achieve this outcome.

The Power of the Building Commissioner

Section 33 of the RABS Act grants the Building Commissioner the authority to order rectification of defects. These orders must be considered by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for building claims.

Overcoming the Stigma of Project Intervene

Why are developers sometimes defensive when dealing with Project Intervene? It often boils down to the fear of the unknown. Increasing awareness of the Project Intervene process can help dispel this stigma and encourage more constructive engagement.

The Path Forward

Project Intervene may not be the perfect solution for every situation, but it offers a promising alternative to protracted legal battles. By fostering transparency, negotiation, and cooperation, Project Intervene aims to improve the industry’s overall integrity.

Section 42 of the RABS Act outlines the consequences of non-cooperation, including heavy fines and penalties. However, it’s usually more cost-effective to collaborate with the Building Commissioner’s Office to reach mutually satisfying agreements.

Embracing Change

As more owners’ corporations turn to Project Intervene, building stronger relationships with the Building Commissioner’s office becomes increasingly valuable. Collaboration can help navigate Project Intervene and settle matters in conjunction with legal proceedings.

To stay informed about this evolving landscape, Madison Marcus plans to host seminars. If you’re interested in attending future events or want more information, please reach out to MM Marketing at

In conclusion, the relationship between builders, developers, and the Building Commissioner may not be a war, but rather a necessary evolution towards a more accountable and transparent building and construction industry in New South Wales. Project Intervene, if used wisely, can be a constructive path forward for all parties involved.

A Path Forward for Harmony in the Building Industry

In a constantly evolving industry like construction and development, it’s crucial for all stakeholders to adapt to changes and embrace innovative approaches that ultimately benefit the greater good. While initial trepidation may surround concepts like Project Intervene, it is essential to remember that such initiatives are designed to enhance the integrity of the industry and provide a platform for resolving disputes efficiently.

Collaboration Over Confrontation

Rather than viewing the involvement of Project Intervene or the Building Commissioner’s actions as adversarial, stakeholders can choose to see them as opportunities for collaboration and improvement. By working together, builders, developers, owners’ corporations, and the Building Commissioner’s office can collectively raise industry standards and ensure that construction projects meet the highest quality and safety criteria.

Transparency as the Way Forward

Transparency is a cornerstone of any successful collaboration. The Building Commissioner’s office and Project Intervene should continue to maintain transparency in their processes, ensuring that all parties are well-informed about their rights, obligations, and the potential benefits of participating in these programs. This transparency can help reduce the fear and stigma often associated with such initiatives.

Education and Awareness

As the saying goes, knowledge is power. The Building Commissioner’s office, in collaboration with industry organizations and legal experts, should invest in educational initiatives that help stakeholders better understand the intricacies of Project Intervene and other related processes. Workshops, webinars, and accessible information can go a long way in dispelling misconceptions and fostering cooperation.

Balancing Interests

It is vital to strike a balance between the interests of builders, developers, and owners’ corporations. While the Building Commissioner’s office and Project Intervene aim to hold all parties accountable, they should also consider the economic and practical challenges faced by those involved in construction and development. This balanced approach can help create an environment where all parties feel heard and supported.

Continuous Improvement

The effectiveness of Project Intervene and the Building Commissioner’s actions should be regularly assessed and refined. Feedback from stakeholders should be actively solicited and considered in refining the processes to make them more efficient and fair. A commitment to continuous improvement can help build trust and confidence in these initiatives.

The Importance of Legal Counsel

For builders, developers, and owners’ corporations navigating the complex landscape of Project Intervene and related processes, seeking legal counsel is often advisable. Experienced legal professionals can provide guidance, negotiate terms on behalf of their clients, and ensure that their interests are protected throughout the entire process.


The evolving relationship between builders, developers, and the Building Commissioner’s office is not necessarily a war but rather a challenging but necessary journey toward industry improvement. Initiatives like Project Intervene offer a path to resolve disputes, ensure compliance, and elevate the quality of construction projects. By working together, maintaining transparency, and fostering collaboration, all parties can contribute to a stronger, more accountable building and construction industry in New South Wales.

As the landscape continues to change, staying informed and adapting to new processes will be key to navigating the evolving terrain successfully. With the right mindset and a commitment to shared goals, builders, developers, and owners’ corporations can create a more harmonious and prosperous future for the industry.


Contact Us

For more information on legal representation, addressing defects, disputes, or any inquiries related to Project Intervene and the NSW Building and Construction industry reforms, don’t hesitate to contact our Strata & Building Construction Disputes Specialists


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