A new construction industry watchdog is set to take shape in Queensland following the appointment of its board of directors.
Announcing the new board on Tuesday, Housing and Public Works Minister Tim Mander said the creation of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) represents the most significant reform in building industry regulation throughout the state in more than 20 years.
Set to assume responsibility for licensing, dispute resolution and administration of the Home Warranty Scheme, the QBCC will replace the widely unpopular former Building Services Authority (BSA) and will be charged with implementing the government’s 10-point plan for improvement in the sector announced in September.
Under these responsibilities, the commission will also review domestic building contracts as well as private certification arrangements and will implement a new dispute resolution process.
Describing the construction industry as one of the four-pillars of the state economy, Mander said Queensland was aiming to have the best regulator in the country.
“We have appointed people of the highest calibre to the board, people who come with extensive experience in the legal, financial and insurance sectors as well as the building and construction industry,” he said. “Board members have been selected based on their previous and current board experience, as well as their business skills and proven ability to drive reform.”
In contrast to the situation in Victoria, building industry representatives in Queensland are supportive of the reform process, with Master Builders executive director Grant Galvin describing it as "an important first step" in improving the industry and saying the reforms represent "long-awaited and much needed changes."
But Galvin says further change is required, including expansion of Home Warranty Insurance to cover manufactured homes; the development of guidance regarding standards and tolerances as to what does and does not constitute defective work; aligning contractor requirements between the Domestic Building Contract Act, the Queensland Building Services Authority Act and the Australian Consumer Law; capping builder liability for latent defects at 10 years and introducing a continuing professional development (CPD) scheme to lift technical and contractual standards across the industry.
Set to be chaired by Queensland registered builder Phil Kesby, the new board is set to take up its role next month.
Other board members include lawyer and corporate governance consultant Jenifer Robertson (deputy chair); construction manager and chairman of Australian Construction Industry Forum Robin Fardoulys, Queensland Urban Utilities board member Len Scanlan, Suncorp senior manager Chris Cunnington, Sunsuper Pty Ltd (building products manufacturer) state manager Robert Hutchison and Cairns-based business owner and business advisor Martin Lee.