Page 3663 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 23 November 2022

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I expect the registrar to use data and intelligence to identify and investigate construction defects. The registrar will undertake the assessment and analysis of building issues and entities who provide construction related services in the ACT.

The statement of expectations also focuses on the registrar taking appropriate action to prevent and reduce future building quality issues. This means applying regulatory controls to those licensees, including corporations, who have repeatedly and significantly failed to meet the requirements of the legislation. The registrar will also continue to ensure that licensees have the necessary qualifications and experience to hold a construction occupations licence in the ACT. The registrar will make sure that they are suitable to hold a licence, which includes demonstrating their licence history, financial suitability and adequate qualifications determined by the registrar.

The ACT community rightly expects that the people building their houses or working on their electrical, plumbing or gas systems can do the work to an appropriate standard. I acknowledge the government’s intention to introduce a registration scheme for engineers, and a licensing scheme for property developers. We will be bringing these further critical aspects of building quality into the ACT’s regulatory framework, and then the registrar’s work. The registrar and their team will target proactive audit programs to identify potential building quality issues where the risk of harm to our community is the greatest. In particular, class 2 buildings, including high-rise and medium-rise buildings such as apartment complexes, will be assessed to make sure that they meet the requirements of the law.

Adequate supervision of construction activities is a key requirement of the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act. Making sure that licence holders are doing their work to a high standard and in compliance with Australian Standards and legislative requirements is essential to prevent building issues in the future. The registrar will focus on licensed corporations and partnerships that may be high risk based on the number and value of the works and sites for which they are responsible.

The ACT community should expect that the homes that they build and live in are of the highest quality, and the registrar is expected to improve community confidence in the building and construction industry. This work will then focus on informing the community, industry and other key stakeholders about significant regulatory actions when they occur, as well as all the proactive work they do to prevent incidents. The registrar regularly publishes construction notes to industry to inform them of issues of non-compliance that have been found and to clearly communicate the registrar’s expectations of the industry. This includes advice about the registrar’s proactive work and the focus of upcoming audit activity.

This is an example of how the registrar will also proactively engage with the industry, guided by data that identifies the trends and highlight areas of focus and opportunities for education. This will provide licensees across construction occupations with the information that they need to improve their practice, including identifying compliance actions and audit outcomes that will enable the industry to assess their own practices and to make improvements to their work. This will include the registrar regularly engaging with the construction industry and industry peak bodies, to raise awareness of key issues and support improved compliance outcomes. I also expect the registrar

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