Building activity could soon halt across Australia as insurance premiums skyrocket due to a recent wave of structural scares that have damaged the industry's reputation.
In response, Master Builders Australia (MBA), the Property Council of Australia (PCA), the Australian Industry Group (AIG), the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) and the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) have come together to push for reform in a letter to federal industry minister Karen Andrews.
The groups have voiced their concern with the industry’s current state, warning that a “flawed regime” of state regulations and ever-rising insurance premiums will negatively impact Australia’s economy.
The signed letter comes ahead of a meeting that will be chaired by Andrews this week, discussing the difficulties private building certifiers and surveyors are now having with obtaining compulsory insurance.
According to MBA chief executive Denita Wawn, up to 30 percent of insurance renewals for building certifiers and surveyors might not be renewed this month. Those who have been able to renew their insurance are facing significant increases in their premium costs.
This could lead to building activity being halted across the nation, affecting businesses, their employees and the Australian economy as a whole.
Rising insurance costs are being attributed to the recent wave of structural scares in newly-built apartments in Sydney and Melbourne, such as in the Opal Tower, Liberty Tower and more recently, Mascot Towers. According to the signatories, it is crucial that the industry's reputation is restored to reverse this. Some have suggested uniform regulations in the industry as a potential strategy.