Developers in New South Wales with bad safety records, poor financial credibility or past phoenixing activity could have their building projects cancelled under new reforms set to be pursued in that state.
According to News Ltd reports, NSW Minister for Minister for Better Regulation plans to introduce sweeping new regulations which are designed to improve protection for apartment buyers against developers and builders whose record is poor.
Under these regulations, builders, developers and certifiers would be rated according to their record on workplace safety, their track record on customer complaints, the age of their business, their financial credibility, suspicions of phoenixing and other metrics.
From this, they would receive a score, which would act like a credit rating.
Those with poor scores would be flagged on a database to ensure their practices are heavily scrutinised.
Where he is not satisfied with either the contractors or the overall soundness of the project, Building Commissioner David Chandler will be able to block the building and remove the occupation certificate – a move which would prevent the development from proceeding and force developers to return deposits to investors.
To assist in an emergency or structural defect crisis, construction plans will have to be downloaded to a centralised database.
Designed to help restore confidence in the building sector, the reforms come amid revelations since the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London that thousands of buildings around Australia are clad in flammable material.
The reforms also follow the evacuation of hundreds of people after structural defects at Sydney’s Mascot and Opal Towers in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Whilst the scoring regime would be implemented by regulation rather than legislation, the new regulations will require the passage of the Design and Building Practitioners Bill though Parliament in order to be implemented.
This Bill was pulled through the upper house last year after Labor and the Greens called for amendments, citing both misgivings about the legislation’s scope and flaws in the legislation.
Anderson says the reforms will help protect consumers.
“I’ll be very proud and honoured to take this building reform forward,” Mr Anderson told The Australian.
“Those who cut corners, cut costs, those who will sign a contract and start skimming off the top — they know who they are. The good developers in this city and state want them gone.”