Following the recent departure of Victorian Building Authority (VBA) CEO Prue Digby, some industry insiders are beginning to question whether the VBA is relevant anymore, and at the same time, asking should it be replaced.
According to builder and national president of the Builders Collective of Australia (BCA), Phil Dwyer, the time is ripe for a change, especially in light of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in London.
In a recent article, Dwyer says, “The state of play today is one confusion, mismanagement, and now anger as we stumble from disaster to disaster that is so acute it is now putting life at risk.”
“We will muddle on while the industry remains in a free-fall that we will never rest until such time we have a completely new culture and a regulator with personnel that understands the industry and those who work and participate in it,” he adds.
The problems, according to Dwyer, mainly revolve around the lack of protection for consumers, as well as the lack of oversight when it comes to enforcing the minimum industry safety standards.
While the VBA is the main government body that deals with the compliance and complaints for both the commercial and residential building sectors, Dwyer’s view is that the VBA is slowly but surely “imploding”.
However, Victoria’s minister for planning Richard Wynne, says that like many things in the built environment, it’s all about updating the current system, as well as maintaining relevancy to the industry.
“We recognise that we have to keep refreshing the way we do things as the industry evolves,” says Wynne.
“That’s why we’ve introduced new laws that give the VBA renewed powers to regulate the sector, restore consumer confidence and protect families.”
We’ve also established the Victorian Cladding Taskforce to bolster the state’s ability to detect and address the extent of non-compliant cladding in Victoria,” says Wynne.