In this update:

  • Victoria aligns with NSW and Qld – Building Surveyors can continue to operate despite cladding exclusions in PI policies
  • Significant proposed regulatory reforms for NSW

Victoria aligns with NSW and Qld – Building Surveyors can continue to operate despite cladding exclusions in PI policies

Effective 12 August 2019, building surveyors and building inspectors in Victoria can continue to be registered and continue to operate as they will be permitted to hold professional indemnity (PI) insurance that contains exclusions relating to non-compliant external wall cladding. A copy of the Ministerial Order can be found here.

This move follows the Queensland Government’s announcement earlier this month, that it proposes to allow certifiers to remain licensed while holding PI insurance that includes cladding related exclusions, as well as the recent introduction of section 14A of the Building Professionals Regulation 2007 (NSW), which permits accredited certifiers in NSW to hold PI insurance with similar exclusions.

The changes in Victoria do not apply to fire safety engineers who are still required to hold PI insurance without exclusions.

Significant proposed regulatory reforms for NSW

For those following the developments in the proposed extensive regulatory reforms currently being considered in NSW, we remind you of two important public consultations that are currently underway.

1. The consultation period in relation to the NSW Government’s discussion paper entitled ‘Building Stronger Foundations’ is open until 24 July 2019. The discussion paper proposes four key reforms to deliver a 'more robust regulatory framework' for the construction of buildings in NSW including:

  • the introduction of a new industry-wide principle of duty of care, enabling home owners to seek compensation if a building practitioner has been negligent
  • requiring all buildings designs to comply with the BCA
  • requiring all building practitioners to be registered, hold the appropriate skills and insurance and be held accountable for their actions
  • the appointment of a Building Commissioner, who will regulate all aspects of the NSW building industry and will have the power to investigate and take disciplinary action for improper conduct.

2. Submissions for the NSW Government’s Inquiry into the Regulation of Building Standards, Building Quality and Building Disputes close on 4 August 2019. The terms of reference can be found here. This public inquiry is far reaching and will consider, amongst other things:

  • the role of building certifiers
  • the role of strata committees
  • the adequacy of consumer protection laws
  • insurance for domestic buildings
  • the extent to which the recommendations made by the Lambert report, Shergold / Weir report and Opal Tower report should be implemented.