Ex-Cop to Head Queensland Building Watchdog

Monday, February 3rd, 2014
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A former detective has been named as head of Queensland’s new building industry watchdog.

In a statement released last week, Queensland Minister for Housing and Public Works Tim Mander announced that former Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Service NSW Steve Griffin had been appointed to head up the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), the new building industry regulator for Queensland which replaced the former Building Services Authority (BSA) under a 10-point plan released by the government to improve building industry regulation last year.

Having previously held roles of Deputy Commissioner of Fair Trading in NSW and Chair of Building Licensing Australasia as well as having been on the Disciplinary Committee of the Building Professionals Board in New South Wales, Griffin is also a former detective in the New South Wales Police Force, where Mander said he played a significant role in high profile investigations into corruption and organised crime.

Mander said Griffin’s background meant he was well-positioned to deliver positive outcomes in the role.

“During his 30 year career, Mr Griffin has led significant regulatory reforms in a range of sectors with a particular focus on the building and construction industry,” Mander said, adding that a regulator of sufficient strength was needed to reflect the industry’s importance in terms of the broader economy.

The central plank of the government’s plan to improve building industry regulation, the new QBCC will serve as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for building industry regulation in the state, and will be responsible for licensing contractors, resolving disputes and overseeing the Home Warranty Scheme.

The new regulator will also undertake a review of the role of private certifiers, develop and improved suite of domestic building contracts and formulate a rapid building dispute model to fast-track disputes.

Unlike in Victoria, where what is widely seen as a shambolic reform process has seen the chief of the new building regulator quit after only nine weeks in the role and drawn fire from industry and consumer groups alike, the changes in Queensland have been well received by industry groups as there was widespread recognition of the need for change amid widespread perceptions of conflict of interest under the former BSA arrangements.

Though the new QBCC will still be a one-stop-shop as with the former BSA, many in the industry believe it will provide greater accountability thanks to new governance arrangements including a professional governing board and internal firewalls separating some functions from others.

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