A shakeup of the Victorian building industry has been prompted by reports of as many as 28% of building projects and renovations being problematic.
Among the changes are mandatory dispute resolution processes and a prohibition on builders using their own surveyors.
Additionally owner-builders will be restricted to building just one house every five years to deter unregistered builders using ownership as cover from regulations.
Builders will also have to re-register every five years, with the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) given powers to inspect building sites and registrations. The Bill will abolish the Building Practitioners Board (BPB) and the functions exercised by the BPB will be transferred to the VBA.
The new laws were introduced to State Parliament in December.
SPASA Victoria has said it is very supportive of government measures made to strengthen consumer protections and eradicate unregistered builders.
The key reforms proposed by the Bill are to
• Improve conciliation of domestic building disputes
• Enable the issue of dispute resolution orders
• Improve information provision for consumers
• Strengthen registration requirements
• Improve discipline of building practitioners
• Make improvements to the governance arrangements for building practitioners’ registration and discipline
• Give building surveyors and the VBA improved powers to direct builders to fix non-compliant building work
• Provide greater assurance that owner-builders are appropriately qualified to build homes
• Improve responsiveness to consumer needs by ensuring business continuity of private building surveyors
• Ensure greater oversight of building work