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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 8 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 2434..


Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004

Paper and statement by minister

MR BARR (Molonglo-Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Minister for Industrial Relations):

For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act, pursuant to section 131—Review of the operation of the Act.

I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR BARR: Mr Speaker, in 2004 the government introduced the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004. The new legislation brought with it significant improvements to the way the construction sector is administered in the ACT. It has established a framework which provides for effective regulation of the construction industry in the ACT, ensures high levels of competence and training in the industry, and establishes a qualifications framework which enables labour market mobility. This aspect is essential in ensuring that there are adequate numbers of builders, building certifiers, plumbers, electricians, drainers and gasfitters in the Canberra construction sector.

The act requires that a review of the legislation be conducted covering the first two years of the act's operation. Earlier this year I directed the Planning and Land Authority to undertake a review of the operation of the act and its several operational acts. The detailed review focused on the provisions of the legislation, the functions of the Construction Occupations Registrar and the administrative procedures adopted in its implementation and operation. A summary report of the review outcomes has been presented to me.

Mr Speaker, as we are all aware, the construction industry plays a significant role in Canberra's economic development. The creation of new employment in the city has not only resulted in high demand for commercial office accommodation but also resulted in high demand for housing in our city. The provision of affordable housing is, in part, dependent on the availability of builders, plumbers, electricians, gasfitters and other tradespeople to ensure the timely completion of new residential development, whether it be infill development or housing in new suburbs such as those in Molonglo that I announced last month.

The construction occupations framework has enabled the ACT to adopt a nationally consistent approach to licensing, facilitating the movement of greater numbers of construction practitioners to Canberra. This is due to the structure of the licensing and qualification framework established under the act, unique among the states and territories. The framework fits very neatly with the new national qualifications framework adopted by all Australian jurisdictions under the Council of Australian Governments. The COAG framework establishes a national training package, delivered by industry registered training organisations. Unlike previous licensing regimes which operated in the various states and territories, under the national


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