The building regulation environment in NSW is in for a shake-up following the resignation of respected NSW Building Commissioner DAVID Chandler.

Chandler will finish his role in November after just over three years.

No public announcement was issued, but Sourceable has confirmed the resignation with a spokesperson from the NSW Department of Customer Services.

Chandler’s three-year contract had originally been set to expire in June but had been extended earlier this year.

“NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler OAM has advised the Secretary of his decision to resign,” a statement provided to Sourceable read.

“An internal investigation into allegations of misleading parliament were found to be unsubstantiated. Reports of fractious relationships with Departmental staff are also false.

“Mr Chandler will continue his work with industry and the Department in coming months with a continued focus on building reforms and the cladding remediation program. 

“Recruitment for a replacement will take place in due course.”

Despite the tone of the aforementioned email, Sourceable understands that that the resignation was voluntary.

It is also understood that the position will be continued at least in some form and that a recruitment process will be undertaken to appoint a new

Since his appointment in 2019, Chandler has been the driving force behind a comprehensive suite of reforms to crack down on shoddy developers and to improve building quality and safety – particularly in multi-story apartment complexes.

In this time, he has driven implementation of two critical pieces of legislation – the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 and the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 – which are driving accountability for the performance of design and building work.

He has also been instrumental in efforts to create a robust rating system that rates the reliability and performance of developers and in working toward the design of a ten-year mandatory insurance scheme for new apartments.

The reforms and the appointment came following discovery of widespread use of flammable cladding on apartment complexes and after structural cracking was discovered at the Opal and Mascot Towers.

His appointment also came as the Building Confidence report prepared by Professor Peter Shergold and lawyer Bronwyn Weir outlined a range of reforms which are needed to address building quality issues nationally.

As part of his role, he has wide-ranging powers, his office has issued orders to stop work, refrain from issuing occupancy certificates, rectify defective work and require enforceable undertakings.

Currently, 26 such orders are in effect.

On his LinkedIn channel, he has repeatedly called out examples of poor building practices and has named and shamed those involved.

Building industry groups have paid tribute to Chandler’s efforts.

Describing his resignation as a ‘massive loss for the construction industry in this state,’ Urban Taskforce Australia CEO Tom Forrest said Chandler will be missed in the role when he leaves.

“David Chandler is a formidable figure who has vast experience in the construction sector.  He has single mindedly devoted himself to the goal of eliminating poor developers, builders and PCAs from the apartment building marketplace in this state,” Forrest said.

“Further, he has overseen the establishment of two new Acts of law which, for the first time, requires all key consultants to insured and all involved in the construction to be held accountable for the building they construct, as well as establishing the Office of the Building Commissioner and the powers to undertake Occupations Certificate Audits.”

“Urban Taskforce has not agreed with everything David Chandler has done.  But one thing is for sure: whenever we had an issue, he was always willing to take the call, engage in debate, and take seriously any issue raised.”

Karen Stiles, Executive Director of the Owners Corporation Network, expressed shock at the news and praised Chandler’s contribution.

“It was a sad day for NSW apartment purchasers and industry alike when NSW Building Commissioner, David Chandler OAM, resigned without warning, Styles said.

“Since his appointment in late 2019 the Commissioner single handedly “turned the Titanic” in terms of refocusing an industry in turmoil to be forward facing and hopeful.  It’s been a joy, as a consumer advocate, to see thousands of purchasers being saved years of defects misery through proactive audits while watching the growing pride of the good industry players disenfranchised for so long.

“The Owners Corporation Network sincerely hopes Mr Chandler continues his good work in some other form after November.”


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