Builders in Queensland who build high-quality homes and pay their subcontractors properly could be set to receive lower insurance premiums under moves by the government to reward reputable builders but punish those who do not build properly.

In his latest statement, Queensland Minster for Housing and Public works Mick de Brenni has proposed a system which would tie premiums which builders pay for home warranty insurance to their QBCC demerit points history.

Under the system, those builders who construct well built homes and thus do not have any claims made against them under the home warranty insurance would have a better demerit points score and would thus qualify for lower premiums.

In a similar way, those who have a clean record in terms of paying subcontractors would also have a better score and lower premiums.

de Brennis said the proposed changes has arisen out of a consultation process for broader building industry reform in which multiple industry sources had suggested that the government change the home warranty insurance system to reward good builders.

He said the proposal would provide home owners with better information about whom they can rely on to deliver their new home or renovation and would enable builders with a clean sheet to advertise lower premiums for home warranty insurance.

The proposal would also rectify a flaw in the current system whereby reliable builders had to pay the same premiums as those who delivered shoddy work even though it was the latter who were responsible for most of the claims and thus most of the costs in the system.

“It’s an idea that has merit, and as we launch consultation around our Queensland Building Plan, I want to make sure that this idea is part of the discussion.” de Brennis said.

“Builders who do the right thing, and take pride in their work, and pay their bills shouldn’t have to compete with those who don’t.”

“They also shouldn’t have to pay higher premiums to subsidise builders who cut corners.”

The latest proposal comes as Queensland is undertaking a wide-ranging review of its building industry legislation.

A discussion paper last year laid out options for change across areas such as home warranty insurance, plumbing and drainage legislation, the Queensland Housing Code, the Queensland Lot Code, building certification, licensing, sustainability, product conformance, liveable housing and inclusive communities.

  • Andrew, good article. Years ago we used to look North and think that they all had two heads. Good on Queensland for attempting to clean up the Industry and get back to Quality instead of corrupt Builders and Developers. Problem we have here down South is the Corruption in the Insurance and Regulation part of the Industry. Too many snouts in the trough benefiting from shoddy workmanship. You realise that should this filter down South there will be a massive increase in Legal unemployment, VCAT might become a thing of the past(cant wait for this one..!!), Associations that one must be a member of will have to find other areas to pillage from the Industry. Now we wake up and find that these maggots spend lots of our hard-earned sucking up to the relative Minister of the day along with the Public Servants who have absolutely no idea of reality and keep pushing the Self-Regulation, De-regulation and cutting of Red-tape line so that they can continue benefiting from such crap work as is becoming commonplace today. Congratulations Queensland for starting to lead the way to recovering quality back into the Industry. Any Insurer who gets on board with this will certainly reap the rewards as well as loyal customers from Industry. Hurry up and get it going. Maybe then we can get rid of useless overpaid Regulators like the VBA including the $450K ++++ that the head of this Authority is paid for DOING NOTHING and all of the other slugs on the purse-strings of society. More regulation, less hypocracy, REAL CONSUMER PROTECTION, not lip-service.

  • Griffo the QBCC commissioner has his head switched on and clearly leads the field in OZ building regulation. ACT WA and VIC are without a doubt and by far the worst and are letting down their consumers every day. We run thousands of builder background checks and something is very obvious to us – The good builders stand out. They try hard, make sacrifices, are genuine and will even take extra steps to satisfy an unreasonable client. They pay the extra premiums (in fact carry the whole bloody industry) and end up paying for the shonks, incompetents and borderline builders.

  • A commitment to provide SOP for subcontractors started the changes in QLD . We don't have them yet – the sooner the better. The regulator and QCAT will be the first cab of the rank . Don't kid yourself that there isn't corruption to weed out though .

  • These strategies reflect a basic 'carrot & stick' management mentality. This is not wrong but it does reflect the inability of our legislators and regulators to ask themselves a basic question. Why do we need 'incentives' for building works to be performed correctly and not in a 'shoddy' fashion? Why do we need to penalise building businesses that choose to ignore their creditors (subbies) equitable cash flows? The answer is as obvious to anyone who has actually had to problem solve strategic issues but it would seem none in the positions of power have this ability. The central problem is that authorities are enabling inept persons to obtain a builders licence in the first instance. Don't give morons a licence to build and you wont get shoddy buildings and work practices. If you need a template think the medical profession. Do you think consumers would accept anything other than the highest and most rigorous standards of training before issuing a licence to practice medicine? I'm not suggesting that builders should be held to the same standard but the current training and licensing requirements are appallingly low quality. Thats where we need reform. If you want better buildings then you better start with better trained builders.