The woman who led the ground-breaking inquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy is set to be part of an expert panel which will put Victoria’s building regulation under the microscope.

The Victorian Government has announced that Dame Judith Hackitt is set to be part of a six-person panel chaired by current Commissioner for Better Regulation and Red Tape Anna Cronin which will review Victoria’s building system as the state moves to improve building regulation in light of the Shergold Weir report.

A British engineer and civil servant with almost thirty years of experience, Hackett became world-renowned for her role in leading an independent review of building regulations and fire safety following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London.

Her report found systematic failure in the UK’s building regulation system including ignorance of regulations and guidance, compromised quality and safety in the name of cost and efficiency, a lack of clarity surrounding roles and responsibilities and inadequate regulatory oversight and enforcement.

It called for a radical overhaul of regulation in that country and outlined a framework by which that needed to take place.

Other panel members (apart from Hackett and Cronin) include:

  • Lauren Solomon – CEO of the Consumer Policy Research Centre
  • Melanie Fasham – Past President of the Master Builders Association of Victoria and member of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee
  • Dr Gerry Ayers – Health and Safety Manager of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (Construction and General Division – Victorian/Tasmanian Branch)
  • Professor Ian Bailey AM SC – Founding Chair of the Society of Construction Law Australia and professorial fellow at the Melbourne Law School.

Set to convene next year, the panel will conduct a comprehensive review of Victoria’s building system.

It’s first task will be to establish principles to guide the building system review and to identify themes to be investigated and addressed throughout the reform process.

It will also address recommendations from the Victorian Cladding Taskforce report in July and the Building Confidence report by Professor Peter Shergold and lawyer Bronwyn Weir.

Over recent years, Victoria has experienced building quality problems in many areas including cladding, waterproofing, and fire safety issues.

Planning Minister Richard Wynn said the new panel would help to deliver better and safer buildings.

“We’ve appointed experts from Victoria and around the world to help us deliver a better building system.,” Wynn said.

“Our building and construction sector underpins much of our growth and economic activity – so it makes sense to support this with a modern and effective legislative framework.”

“This panel has a wealth of knowledge and experience and is the first step towards delivering the most comprehensive review ever undertaken into Victoria’s building system.”