The NSW Upper House Public Accountability Committee has commenced an inquiry into the regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes.
The committee will examine the role of private certification in protecting building standards and the adequacy of consumer protections for owners and purchasers of new buildings, as well as the limitations on building insurance and compensation schemes.
The committee will also consider the role of strata committees in responding to building defects and the protections offered for all strata owners in disputes. In particular the committee will investigate case studies related to flammable cladding on NSW buildings and the defects discovered in Mascot Towers and the Opal Tower.
Committee Chair, Mr David Shoebridge MLC, said, "The committee are deeply concerned about the forced evacuation of residents following substantial building defects being found in the Mascot and Opal Tower buildings. This has left many residents homeless and many owners with large costs for repairs and a decrease in the value of their homes."
Mr Shoebridge continued, "With an increase of high rise apartments, particularly in the Sydney region, it is extremely important that the NSW Government has adequate regulation and oversight of the building industry, including appropriate consumer protection, and are responding to building defects in a timely and effective manner. With this in mind the committee will also consider the NSW Government's response to the Shergold/Weir report and other reports into the building industry."
"Due to widespread public concern this issue needs to be addressed urgently. Given this the committee will be holding hearings in August and requests submissions by 28 July 2019. We strongly encourage submissions from impacted stakeholders, organisations and individuals," said Mr Shoebridge.
Mr Shoebridge further noted, "The committee will also be launching an online questionnaire shortly to enable as many community members as possible to have their say on this important issue."
For further information about the inquiry, including the terms of reference, or for more information on how to make a submission or participate in the online questionnaire, please go to our website.
For further information please contact Committee Chair, Mr David Shoebridge MLC, on 9230 3030.
Inquiry into the regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes.
We, the undersigned, request that a meeting of the Public Accountability Committee convened to consider the following terms of reference:
Inquiry into the regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes
1. That the Public Accountability Committee inquire into and report on the regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes by government agencies in New South Wales, including:
(a) the role of private certification in protecting building standards, including:
(i) conflicts of interest
(ii) effectiveness of inspections
(iii) accountability of private certifiers
(iv) alternatives to private certifiers
(b) the adequacy of consumer protections for owners and purchasers of new buildings, and limitations on building insurance and compensation schemes, including:
(i) the extent of insurance coverage and limitations of existing statutory protections
(ii) the effectiveness and integrity of insurance provisions under the Home Building Act 1989
(iii) liability for defects in apartment buildings
(c) the role of strata committees in responding to building defects discovered in common property, including the protections offered for all strata owners in disputes that impact on only a minority of strata owners,
(d) case studies related to flammable cladding on NSW buildings and the defects discovered in Mascot Towers and the Opal Tower, and
(e) the NSW Government's response to the report by Professor Peter Shergold AC and Ms Bronwyn Weir entitled Building Confidence: Improving the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the building and construction industry across Australia,
(e) any other related matter.
2. That the committee report by 30 September 2019.