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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 December 2020) . . Page.. 98 ..


Building—quality

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.29): Pursuant to standing order 211, I move:

That the Assembly take note of the following paper:

Economic Development and Tourism—Standing Committee—Ninth Assembly—Report 9—Inquiry into Building Quality—Government response.

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (3.30): I am pleased to note the government’s response to report 9 of the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Tourism in the previous Assembly—its inquiry into building quality in the ACT.

The report included 48 recommendations covering a wide range of topics, from building legislation and administration to practitioner regulation, issues for unit title and residential buildings, building contracts, warranties and other protections, skills, and the specific technical standards for balustrades and access to multi-unit buildings.

The government welcomes the opportunity to respond to these recommendations. We have carefully considered each one of those, including in the context of the ACT’s existing system and reforms underway here and nationally. We recognise the importance of compliance with building standards for health, safety, amenity and sustainability in maintaining our quality of life.

I wish to acknowledge the extensive work undertaken to date to improve the ACT’s building regulatory system and to lift practices across the construction industry. This work means that the intent of many of the recommendations has been or will be met by current legislation or the government’s reforms to the building and unit title systems already in train.

To cite a few examples, the minimum information and documentation guideline for class 29 building approval applications came into effect on 1 September 2019 and addresses recommendations about requiring detailed design drawings. To improve communication between regulator and industry on emerging compliance problems and good practices, the 2019-20 budget included funding in Access Canberra for the equivalent of four staff for public and industry education and data analysis to support building regulatory functions.

We are establishing a comprehensive audit scheme, and the government has allocated significant funding to Access Canberra to increase audits and inspections of building documents and building work. This includes adherence to the approved plans following the correct process for documenting and seeking improvements for amendments. There is also ongoing funding for the rapid regulatory response team,


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