ACT building owners are set to be better protected from dodgy builds, with the introduction of new laws that will see company directors made personally liable for building defects.
The announcement follows a number of concerns raised nationwide about the quality of new builds, with one report alleging that Australians have spent $10.5 billion on defects arising from poor construction standards over the last 10 years.
Ramsay, the minister for building quality improvement in the ACT, said the “amendments will prevent corporations from undermining the system and deliberately avoiding their regulatory obligations by winding up their company”.
He said there had been instances where building corporations produced “substandard buildings”, and when called to account, had closed their business and left the costs of rectification to building owners.
The new regulatory powers will allow rectification orders to be issued to directors of licensed corporations, and to make directors liable for unpaid financial penalties.
“New provisions will also provide greater safeguards for the community by allowing the Construction Occupations Registrar to publish information about stop notices if necessary or desirable to protect the public,” the minister outlined.
Other amendments in the bill include powers for building inspectors to direct builders and land owners in relation to non-compliant building work, provisions to allow people to enter into enforceable actions to rectify work, and clear requirements for licensed corporations to have an effective system of management.
“These changes are important for the ACT and further support the range of building regulatory reforms already introduced by the ACT government to improve practices across the building industry,” Mr Ramsay said.