NSW's newly-appointed building commissioner has told a parliamentary inquiry into the state's building industry that it's time to "rebuild its reputation".

Inaugural building commissioner David Chandler declared the industry was selfish when he appeared before the upper house’s public accountability committee on Friday.

He started in his role on Wednesday.

“It’s time for the NSW building industry to be different and to rebuild its reputation,” Mr Chandler told the inquiry into building standards, quality and disputes.

“Our industry is overly self-facing and it has an unsustainable culture of risk-aversity and ‘What’s in it for me?’ This culture has too often become defensive and adverse to accountability.”

Mr Chandler intends to engage Bronwyn Weir to help him implement the state government’s initiatives.

Ms Weir and Professor Peter Shergold in 2018 completed an assessment of the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems across Australia.

Legislation was passed in October giving the state government compliance and enforcement powers and the right to suspend or cancel a certifier’s registration.

The regime also allows for substantial fines for body corporates who don’t have sufficient insurance.

However, Department of Customer Service executive John Tansey on Monday told the inquiry he couldn’t say exactly when the new laws would come into effect.

NSW does not need a building commission like some other states, Mr Chandler told the inquiry on Thursday. 

David Chandler

“On the face of it, I don’t believe we need that at the moment, the first thing we need is to be very clear about what leadership we need to start turning this industry around,” he said.

“This is not a bureaucratic solution, this is not going to require a heavy hand of government, this is not going to require a huge amount of legislation.”

Mr Chandler told the inquiry he does not have a budget but will have four or five staff.

The commissioner said he was “absolutely satisfied” the required resources would be made available.

Article source: AAP

Image Source: The Conversation