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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 March 2018) . . Page.. 878 ..

The ACT government is committed to delivering strong reforms to ensure high quality construction outcomes for buildings in Canberra. The amendments to this motion, especially an inquiry, would provide an important focus on building quality and compliance with the involvement of the community whilst the ACT government continues to deliver reforms in this important area and ensure that buildings constructed in our city are of a high quality. I commend Minister Gentleman’s amendments to Mr Parton’s motion.

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (5.24): I thank Mr Parton for bringing this important matter forward today. I note his carer responsibilities, and I understand that carer responsibilities are a major role for many members of this Assembly. It is a shame he cannot be here this afternoon, but I believe that Mrs Jones is going to wrap up for us. These words are mainly directed at Mr Parton, but I thank Mrs Jones for passing them on.

For once I agree with parts of Mr Parton’s motion. Do not get too excited, though; I am highly supportive of Mr Gentleman’s amendments. Mr Parton notes in part 1 of his motion:

… the Government has an obligation to provide a proper and effective regulatory framework to ensure the building industry delivers high quality property construction outcomes;

What an important issue. I have been very lucky in having a father who has been a builder and has worked in the construction industry for far too many years, and still does today. I have been armed with a great deal of knowledge and experience when purchasing my own home. As we have heard today from many members of the Assembly, many people in the community have not been so lucky. They unfortunately have had many issues when purchasing their properties.

I am contacted on a regular basis by members of the community raising concerns with me about their dwellings. Usually these letters have been written to me as a last resort. The members of the community have, in most cases, started their complaint process with the Master Builders Association, as the builders they have used have been their members. In all cases to date which have been referred to my office and which I have been involved in, the MBA have been unable to help or maybe not willing to. This is a real shame and a blight on society.

That brings me to Mr Gentleman’s amendments today. In part 4 of Mr Gentleman’s amendment, he calls on the government to invite:

… the relevant Standing Committee/s to consider conducting an inquiry into construction quality, compliance, enforcement and any gaps in the current building regulation reform program.

What a novel idea: a standing committee looking into a matter which impacts on the community.

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