WILL the Berejiklian Government ‘see reason’ and return the Design and Building Practitioners Bill to the upper house with what appear to be reasonable changes submitted by the Greens for an independent building commission to support the work of Mr Chandler, and the Labor proposal for the establishment of a professional engineers’ registration scheme?
WHAT’s the problem?
THIS should happen as soon as the last week of February! Especially since the report aired of the $6,371,572 Property Development Sector donations to the Liberal Party May 2019 Election Campaign!
EXTRACT: ‘Warning NSW construction crisis fix is still two years away’
David Chandler, NSW Building Commissioner made his comments following the emergency crews called to Mascot Towers on Thursday night.
‘The NSW Building Commissioner has warned a major fix to the state’s residential construction crisis is two years away, as fresh cracks emerged in Sydney’s troubled Mascot Towers apartment block.
Fresh cracks have shown in Sydney’s infamous Mascot Towers.
“There are some really regrettable things out there that abhor me,” he said.
“We’ll be in a much better position by 2022 once we’ve started to change the culture of the industry and get people back to what they should be doing.”
Many of Mr Chandler’s measures to better protect owners from shoddy industry practices hinge on the Berejiklian government being successful in a renewed attempt to push its building reform package through the NSW upper house later this month.
“If I can substantially reduce the incidence of [building defects] and ensure that’s not what’s coming through the pipeline – that to me is the most impactive thing we could do,” Mr Chandler said.
Mr Chandler said he had been “actively out there” on sites in an attempt to ensure owners and residents being crippled by building defects was “not the case for the future”.
“We’ve set up a framework for much clearer accountability of the parties. Until now that clarity hasn’t been there,” he said.
“At the moment there’s no order – there’s grey areas everywhere.”
Former NSW treasury secretary Michael Lambert, who led a landmark review into building regulations in 2015, said he had greater confidence in the most recent measures planned to rectify the shortcomings in building standards.
But he warned there would continue to be a risk over the next two to three years in the large strata buildings erected.
“There will be dodgy brothers around building dodgy buildings,” he said. ‘‘There is not a magic wand – I wish this process had been commenced some time ago.”
Mr Lambert said the key to improving standards was developing a “risk-based approach” that targets high-risk developers, builders and buildings and ensures they have insurance.
“For builders, that means professional indemnity insurance. It is about using that to try to put pressure on builders which are not up to standard,” he said.
“The approach [the building commissioner] has adopted is sound.”
The government abandoned an attempt to pass key legislation by the end of 2019, when it pulled its building reform bill from the NSW upper house as it faced defeat on significant changes proposed by Labor and the Greens.
The Greens wanted an independent building commission to support the work of Mr Chandler, while Labor was proposing the establishment of a professional engineers’ registration scheme.
Despite the setback, the government will return the Design and Building Practitioners Bill to the upper house in the last week of February.
Owners Corporation Network executive officer Karen Stiles was pleased the building commissioner was “attacking the problem on a number of fronts” but said “building quality is an absolute issue”.
“Most of our members come to us because of building defects. I’ve had people crying, there are people who are suicidal about these things. We’ve got a long way to go,” she said.’