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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Building sector crackdown

The ACT Government has announced a suite of new measures in a “crackdown” on the local building sector, including a new building website, a building surveyors’ code of practice and increased worksite inspections.

“Buying, building or renovating a property is one of life’s biggest investments, and our community can rightly expect that the building work is of a high standard and built to stand the test of time,” Minister Ramsay said.

“I’ve made it clear that there is no place in the ACT for those in the industry who cut corners, deliver poor quality or non-compliant work, flout necessary approvals or do not rectify issues that might emerge.”

He said numbers of building inspections will increase over this coming financial year, with eight new rapid response officers funded in the ACT Budget, which will boost capacity for another 100 inspections.

The announcement comes after a number of enforcement actions were taken on building sites in the ACT recently, including 17 stop work notices in Gungahlin and the stopping of work on a major development in Bruce as relevant approvals were not in place.

Minister Ramsay said the new website, designed to detail what is required of builders, developers and consumers, will make it easier for people to access important information.

“To assist Canberrans in finding out about all things ‘building’, we have created a one-stop website for consumers and industry members to find out the relevant policy and regulation that applies in the ACT,” he said.

“If you are looking for a builder, we have made it even easier to search for a licensed professional via our database as well as make an enquiry or lodge a complaint if necessary.”

The ACT Government has also developed a new code of practice for building surveyors, to be mandated from 1 September.

“We need to make sure the industry is guided by clear expectations and that people in these roles understand various building-related rules and have the necessary skills to advise both the construction industry and consumers,” Minister Ramsay said.

The code covers requirements for record keeping, complaint handling and inspections at specific stakes of work, as well as a mandatory online course for people applying to be surveyors.

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