Better Buildings... Finally

Last week protections for owners buying new apartments were significantly strengthened with the passage of two vital reforms.

The Building Commissioner was given powers to inspect buildings during and up to six years after construction, issue orders to stop work and fix defects, and withhold occupation certificates. A rating tool flagging high risk developers such as those that dissolve companies to avoid liability will help the commissioner prioritise inspections. My amendment to ensure owners can refuse to let the same developer back to fix defects passed unanimously ensuring owners won’t be penalised if they don’t let a developer who has been intimidating or negligent back into their homes. 

The upper house finally passed the new system to register and accredit apartment designers and practitioner and ensure their work complies with standards. The bill passed the lower house last year and I am pleased my amendments to improve accountability, transparency and coverage of the regime remained intact.

I welcome the multi-partisan approach taken to these reforms and the result is a better outcome for consumers. While further reform is needed, the bills represent a massive leap in safeguards that we have long been waiting for. My speeches during debate: HERE and HERE.