NSW will undertake a major overhaul of the way high-rise apartment buildings are built, starting with the appointment of a Building Commissioner to step up compliance.
The changes are based on 24 recommendations in last year’s Shergold Weir report which were discussed at a forum of building ministers on Friday, The Sunday Telegraph reports.
It will ensure that every party to the construction process, from drafting a design to the final build, is registered and qualified.
Builders will not be allowed to make changes during the construction process without submitting a revised plan to the building commissioner for approval.
The shake-up follows the debacle of the cracked Opal Tower at Sydney Olympic Park. It’s believed the structural flaws were the result of noncompliance during the construction process.
“While we are yet to see the detail, what the government is proposing with regard to regulation and oversight sends a strong message that everybody involved that they will be held accountable for their responsibility,” said Lindsay Le Compte, construction and infrastructure general manager for employers’ body the Australian Industry Group.
“The engineer, for example, should be coming back before the concrete is poured to ensure their component has been carried out so that it complies. The certifier should be on site to check each stage against the plans. Each person will have legal responsibility for their part. The changes will place significant onus for people to do their job properly.”