A new building industry watchdog will come into power in Queensland next month, in what has been hailed as the most significant reform to construction regulation in more than 20 years.
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) is designed to assist growth in the sector, which the state government believes will bring great benefits to the economy as a whole.
Tim Mander, housing and public works minister, explained that the body would replace the Building Services Authority, which has been the source of much controversy over the years.
“We have appointed people of the highest calibre to the board, people who come with extensive experience in the legal, financial and insurance sectors as well as the building and construction industry,” commented the minister.
“Board members have been selected based on their previous and current board experience, as well as their business skills and proven ability to drive reform.”
Among the duties that the QBCC has been tasked with includes the implementation of the government’s ten-point action plan, which is designed to address current regulations and help drive growth.
As one of the biggest sources of labour hire in Queensland, the government sees it as essential that the construction industry becomes more efficient and streamlined in years to come.
In addition, the body will be responsible for licensing and dispute resolution, as well as taking charge of the Home Warranty Scheme.
Contractors who carry out defective work will find their actions are investigated by the QBCC.
The new body will have a number of big tasks to face, including helping to improve builder confidence throughout Queensland.
The Master Builders’ National Survey of Building and Construction showed that even in spite of a slight uplift in confidence, people working within the sector are doubtful of a full recovery any time soon.
Chief economist at Master Builders Peter Jones explained that building approvals and housing finance have experienced slight rises, which would usually filter through to other parts of the industry.
However, people are still cautious about what the future has in store, especially as the chances of recovery seem so fragile and business conditions remain mixed.
“A pick-up in activity is not on the cards in the immediate future,” Mr Jones acknowledged, adding that the low interest rate environment still needs to gather more traction.