The four key reforms for discussion are:
- A requirement for buildings to be designed and constructed to plans that fully comply with the Building Code of Australia (including requirements for “building designers” (e.g. architects and engineers) to certify that the plans for proposed buildings are compliant and for builders to declare that the building has been built according to those plans);
- Requiring registration of building designers, to ensure they have the appropriate skills and insurance, and can be held accountable for their actions;
- Introduction of a new industry-wide principle of duty of care, potentially enabling subsequent home owners to seek compensation if a building practitioner (which could include builders, developers and building designers) has been negligent. This extension of the duty of care appears to be a response to High Court authorities in which builders were found not to owe a duty of care to those parties that lacked “vulnerability” (such as an owners’ corporation); and
- Appointment of a Building Commissioner to regulate all aspects of the NSW building industry, and have the power to investigate, conduct audits and enforce compliance with the regulatory requirements.
The consultation period is open until 24 July 2019 and the full discussion paper can be viewed here.
Should you require assistance preparing a submission in response to the discussion paper, please call me on 8235 9706.