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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 4227 ..


are allowed to operate in the territory. I have inherited a comprehensive set of reforms integrating policy and legislative changes with improvements in administration and enforcement. I know that these reforms are well supported by industry and the community, and I will continue the work Minister Gentleman started.

The government has previously outlined its priority policy reforms and I reiterate those priorities today: further tighten eligibility for a builder's licence by requiring all applicants for class A, B and C builder licences to pass an examination; provide documentation requirements and guidelines for developing building approval applications; make new codes of practice for builders and building certifiers; and introduce training courses for building surveyors. These steps will make clear the roles, expectations, rights and obligations for different parties, and lift skills and knowledge in the industry. Other reforms will be progressively rolled out over the next two years.

Building regulations and standards are intended to provide protections to building owners and occupants. While we can improve law and help make people's obligations clear when they are not, the main obligations when it comes to building work are already clear. It is clear that buildings must be designed and constructed to comply with the Building Code. It is clear that building work must be carried out in accordance with the building approval. And it is clear that the community expects that if this does not happen the work will be rectified.

Unfortunately, the reality for some people is substandard and non-compliant work, unapproved changes to the building and difficulty in getting developers and builders to fix problems. We have laws for a reason. Building laws respond to community expectations for the safety, health and amenity of our buildings, and for fair practices in the industry. They are there to be complied with.

In June 2018 the Construction Occupations Registrar outlined the operational strategy for building regulation in 2018-19. It aligns with Access Canberra's three strategic objectives for building compliance activities and is consistent with the policy reforms of government. The three strategic objectives in relation to building compliance are protection, prevention and rectification.

In respect of protection, through their actions Access Canberra will seek to protect the community from harm. Access Canberra will act to minimise risks to safety, health, sustainability and amenity, and minimise financial loss from unlawful conduct. In respect of prevention, Access Canberra aims to limit and prevent harm, damage or economic loss by promoting compliance with relevant legislation. And in respect of rectification, Access Canberra can require people who have not complied with their obligations to rectify or remedy identified issues.

As the statutory office holder, the Construction Occupations Registrar is responsible for administering building standards. The registrar's current and future activities will focus on protecting people as the legislation intends. There will be work to improve the accountability and the competence of licensees as well as to increase the industry's responsiveness to problems and emerging issues. There will be more oversight of building projects and other proactive compliance activities and quicker


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