Queensland’s construction industry is expected to experience a significant boost in efficiency and productivity thanks to the introduction of new water supply legislation.
The Water Supply Services Legislation Amendment Bill was submitted to parliament by Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark McArdle on February 11 this year. The amendments were accepted and approved on May 6, with the changes expected to come into effect on July 1.
Mr McArdle explained that this bill will make it easier, faster and more cost-effective to connect water and sewerage systems on building sites, which should help simplify and speed up development approvals within the construction industry.
The ability to streamline approvals may help create construction apprenticeships in Queensland as increased efficiency may boost activity and demand for skilled workers in the industry.
“We promised at the election to grow construction as one of the four pillars of the economy and to cut red tape and these reforms deliver,” Mr McArdle said in a May 7 media release.
Previously, water and sewerage connections in south-east Queensland had to be approved by the council and official industry bodies such as the Queensland Urban Utilities and Unitywater. This process significantly increased the amount of time and administrative burden these approvals required. Additionally, the recently approved new system is forecast to cost much less than the previous process.
“From 1 July 2014, [south-east Queensland] water service providers will be able to provide direct approval to developers for new projects ranging from a new house to a large apartment complex,” Mr McArdle revealed.
“Third party certification will be used for more complicated approvals, resulting in faster design times and lower holding costs for developers and home builders.”
As well as increasing efficiency in the construction industry, the proposed changes should also help boost activity in the plumbing trades. This move to reduce red-tape and streamline approvals may encourage both building firms and plumbing businesses to expand their operations.
This is good news for those working in construction or plumbing apprenticeships and traineeships as these organisations may choose to grow their workforce to meet rising demand and activity levels.
Additionally, Mr McArdle explained the new bill will also help reduce bureaucracy and red tape for water providers, as it eliminates the need to prepare a multitude of management plans about asset and drought management. Instead, these providers will only be required to complete an annual performance report.
By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator