The Australian building industry is in turmoil and rudderless as we lurch from one disaster to another with the latest crisis that is capable of shutting down the whole of the national sector except for Queensland.
The cladding issue is vast and affecting thousands of apartment owners who purchased compliant buildings only to find as the legitimate owner they are being targeted to fund the wrongdoing of builders and others who fixed noncompliant cladding to their structure.
While it appears there may be some form of relief for Victorians as a result of Premier Andrews announcing only last week the intended formation of a body titled ‘Cladding Safety Victoria’ however we await the details of the scheme, and in the meantime the rest of Australia involved in the cladding circumstance waits with bated breath.
Following on from cladding is the next crisis being Professional Indemnity insurance (PI) that Building Surveyors/Certifiers must obtain as it is compulsory for them to hold a PI policy without any conditions imposed and that activates their licence/registration to enable them to operate as a licenced Surveyor/Certifier.
The last of the Professional Indemnity insurers are withdrawing their product this week.
This simply means any Surveyor’s PI insurance Policy that becomes due from this time on can no longer obtain the mandated PI Insurance which means they can no longer undertake their role and the building industry will grind to a stop as Surveyors cannot issue permits, undertake inspections nor issue an occupancy certificate.
However today the third of July 2019 saw the Queensland Building and Construction Commission take the lead on this issue and stated: “The QBCC’s decisions will allow certifiers to continue to work while the law is being changed.”
- Extended turn-around time for processing of certifier licence renewals What it means to the certifiers: If you lodge an application for licence renewal before your expiry date, your licence will remain valid until the QBCC writes back to you with a decision.
- The requirement to hold Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance What it means to the Certifier: If you have current comprehensive PI Insurance or current PI Insurance which excludes combustible cladding, and you continue to hold a licence, you may continue to offer certification services in Queensland.
While the Queensland industry is secure, the rest of the nation is very insecure and still at risk of a shutdown due to the insurance crisis.
The continuing disgrace of the so-called Builders Warranty Insurance (BWI) continues to impact on so many homeowners, and in the last week or so amongst others we have been contacted by two consumers who have entered their seventh year of a dispute with their builder.
Both of these consumers have exhausted all their savings with lawyers and consultants and are now at risk of losing the very homes they have been fighting to have the major defects repaired.
It beggar’s belief that any Government can allow this circumstance to continue under the illusion of a Public Protection Policy that exists to protect consumers however the reality is the complete opposite for most that have an issue with their home. The building industry is in crisis and screaming out for genuine leadership that is not forthcoming from the States or Territories or those who have had the past 20 years to establish an industry we could take a little pride in. Instead, we continue with a 20-year-old structure and have not moved with the times to meet the requirements or values of a modern-day Australia.
Again, we call on Prime Minister Morrison to answer the call and instigate a Royal Commission which Premier Andrews states is the most powerful investigation a government anywhere in this country can launch. He further stated nothing is off limits!
Nothing is beyond scrutiny, which is a far cry from the previous 70 plus reviews/inquiries that achieved nothing.