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National agreement reached on building reforms

Both the Property Council of Australia and the Australian Institute of Architects have welcomed a national approach to building reforms after Commonwealth, State and Territory building ministers last week agreed to implement all 24 recommendations of the Shergold-Weir Building Confidence report.

The report sets out 24 recommendations that look to cement the National Construction Code as the model for best practice, while also clarifying the roles of regulators and improving training and registration of industry practitioners.

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is to be expanded and responsible for developing a framework to enact the reforms.

National President of the Australian Institute of Architects, Professor Helen Lochhead, said the Institute had been calling for national consistency and the uniform adoption of the recommendations from day one.

“Today’s announcement is a welcome and positive step towards rebuilding public confidence in Australia’s construction industry that we fully support and endorse,” Professor Lochhead said.

“Industry, and most importantly consumers, can have some assurance that there will be a nationally consistent approach to addressing these complex and deeply concerning issues plaguing the construction industry.”

Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison said it was an important step towards addressing issues around building regulation compliance and enforcement at a national level.

“We are pleased that ministers have listened to the concerns of the building, construction, insurance and property industries about the inconsistent approach that has been taken to date, particularly on issues such as combustible cladding, as well as building standards and professional integrity,” Mr Morrison said.

“There is still a lot of hard work to be done – particularly around a consistent approach to addressing cladding issues and in resolving insurance problems – but this has been a big and welcome step forward today and we congratulate the ministers on taking it.”

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