Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PEAK STRATA BODY COMMENDS MAJOR STEP FORWARD IN BUILDING INDUSTRY REFORM IN NSW

New South Wales -

Media Release | INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY AVAILABLE

Friday 7 February, 2020

Attention New South Wales Media

PEAK STRATA BODY COMMENDS MAJOR STEP FORWARD IN BUILDING INDUSTRY REFORM IN NSW

BUILDING “COWBOYS” TO BE DRIVEN OUT

The peak strata body in New South Wales says the formation of a new investigative and enforcement squad of 75 officers and staff working for NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler will send a clear message to “cowboy” builders in NSW that their days are numbered.

Strata Community Association NSW President, Chris Duggan, said today he was keen to see the specific detail of how the new Building Commission team would operate, but is confident that Building Commissioner David Chandler, will strike the right balance.

“Commissioner Chandler has enough experience and common sense to make sure that his new team will not allow itself to be another arm of bureaucracy and just another layer of red tape,” Mr Duggan said.

“We all know that the vast majority of builders in NSW do the right thing, but their reputations have been damaged somewhat by the cowboys out there that take the short cuts and turn out construction projects that in some instances have proven to be unsafe and in need of major and costly repair and remediation.

“It has been challenging time in NSW for building standards over the last 12 months and Commissioner Chandler now has the legislative teeth and the team to get the construction sector back on track and to hunt down the cowboys.

“We just want to be sure that reputable builders can get on with the job as they have always done with clear guidelines from Government and minimal interference.”

Mr Duggan said the proposed State building industry reforms in NSW will be a major step forward in ridding the State construction industry of crooks and cowboys.

Strata Community Association, the peak body representing the apartment, unit, townhouse and other strata titled property in NSW, says the proposed reforms will give much needed peace of mind to millions of NSW residents who live in or own strata titled property.

“Commissioner Chandler has served notice to dodgy builders and certifiers that they have no place in the building, construction and strata sectors in NSW,” Mr Duggan said.

“These reforms are long overdue and on behalf of our Association which oversees the interests of the $400billion apartment and strata sector in NSW, we say thank you to Commissioner Chandler and Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson.”

Mr Duggan said he was especially pleased to see that certifiers had been brought into the reform mix following a series of what appeared to be a lack of accountability by a small group of certifiers which had caused financial ruin for hundreds, if not thousands, of apartment owners.

“It is very clear that the apartment construction sector in NSW has been overdue for a clean out.

“Commissioner Chandler has gone after the crooks and dodgy builders and he has delivered a reform package that will do the job.”

Mr Duggan said he hoped the reforms would also ensure a crackdown on sub-standard building materials, such as flammable cladding, asbestos products and cheap imported electrical wiring, all of which remained problematic in the building sector.

“We need to give just as much attention to materials like asbestos and cheap electrical wiring that are hidden behind walls as we do to what is on the outside.”

SCA (NSW) last year appeared before the Public Accountability Committee at the public hearing for the Inquiry into the Regulation of Building Standards, Building Quality and Building Disputes in December 2019. A full copy of the report is available here.

“SCA (NSW) tabled a seven-point plan to the committee as part of their submission, and the necessity of restoring confidence within the strata sector. Our submission for the inquiry, and our evidence to the committee, focussed on the support for consumers within the industry and highlights the need for certainty of process, products and outcomes.

“We discussed combustible cladding as a subset of wider defect issues that are currently plaguing NSW buildings. We gave evidence along with other industry stakeholders.”

SCA (NSW) had a very active 2019 dealing with issues related to:

  • Flammable Cladding
  • Building Defect Crisis
  • Building Evacuations
  • Insurance Premiums
  • Education and Advocacy
  • Policy and Regulation – both Future and Retrospective
  • Awareness
  • Building Commissioner Appointment
  • Government Funding
  • Accreditation

“The issues strata schemes are currently facing are due to a combination of unprecedented and wide-ranging disruptive changes on one side, and fragmented legislative bodies that were ill-equipped to deal with them in a timely fashion on the other. Almost a quarter of our population currently resides in a strata-titled scheme.”

ENDS

About

About Strata Community Association

Strata Community Association Limited (SCA) is the peak industry body for Body Corporate and Community Title Management in Australia & New Zealand. Membership includes body corporate managers, support staff, committee members and suppliers of products and services to the industry. SCA proudly fulfils the dual roles of a professional institute and consumer advocate.

SCA has in excess of 3,300 members who help oversee, advise or manage a combined property portfolio with an estimated replacement value of over $1.2 trillion. Website: https://nsw.strata.community

(ENDS)

Contact Details

Media contact:
Chris Duggan
President
Strata Community Association (NSW)
0437 973 183
Chris.Duggan@bright-duggan.com.au

Released by:
Pat McGuire
Marketplace Communications
0412 748161
Patrick.McGuire@mpc.com.au

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