New South Wales' Innovation and Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean has announced on Sunday that the state would establish a new Building Commissioner to oversee and approve construction of new multi-storey residential buildings, and ensure building practitioners are competent.
The new Building Commissioner would be responsible for approving high-rise designs, and for registering and auditing building practitioners.
Under the plan, all designers and builders involved in high-rise construction will need to be registered and qualified, and will need to declare buildings are compliant with the Building Code of Australia. The office of the Building Commissioner would also conduct regular audits of practitioners.
In line with an outcome from Friday's BMF meeting, the NSW plan will also clarify the law to ensure building practitioners have a duty of care to owners and corporations.
As part of the legislative shake-up, Minister Kean said the NSW Government would accept the "vast majority" of recommendations from the Shergold-Weir Building Confidence report.
"Minister Kean's announcement promises much-needed oversight and accountability for the New South Wales construction industry," says FPAA CEO Scott Williams.
"The fire protection industry has long advocated that building practitioners at all levels must have the necessary competence and be accredited to perform their job roles. Minister Kean's announcement is an important step towards regaining consumers' confidence in their buildings, and in those who design, build and maintain them."
"The Association believes this affirmative action is overdue, and will go a long way to ensuring that buildings in NSW have the compliance and quality that the community deserves."