Page 3688 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 September 2018

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MADAM SPEAKER: You are right. It was applied to, I think, Mrs Kikkert and others who were rephrasing. I am going to rule it out of order and ask people to be very mindful of the standing orders when a question is asked. We will move to questions.


MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Building Quality Improvement. Can the minister outline for the Assembly how the government is acting to improve building quality in Canberra?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Mr Pettersson for his question. The government is solutions focused. That is why we are putting into place very practical measures to ensure that the quality of buildings being built is high. The changes are both in the operational areas and in the policy guiding building in the ACT. We are making changes to ensure that those who are building in Canberra are doing so according to the rules and are building high quality buildings.

That is why Access Canberra has created a rapid regulatory response team in the building inspectorate, to ensure that they can get out to assess building complaints quickly, ideally on the same day that they are made. That is to ensure that noncompliant building is stopped as soon as possible, where appropriate, and to prevent it from escalating.

We will also soon be implementing a series of minimum documentation requirements to obtain a building approval. This will ensure that those seeking to build have put a high level of consideration into the design and construction of their building, and also that building certifiers must see and analyse a higher level of documentation than is currently required.

These are just two of our immediate reforms. The improving the ACT building regulatory system review identified 43 reforms, which we accepted and are rolling out in a coordinated and systemic way. That is why we are working with our colleagues in other jurisdictions to make changes to the national system. As other opportunities present, we will also make those changes. We will continue to consistently and carefully change the building regulatory system to ensure compliance with the law and higher quality buildings.

MR PETTERSSON: Can the minister outline how having a rapid regulatory response will help improve building quality in Canberra?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Mr Pettersson for his supplementary question. Access Canberra’s rapid regulatory response team is designed to ensure that complaints are dealt with quickly and that issues do not escalate. We know that the cost of fixing a problem in a building increases substantially once it is complete. That is why the team is designed to get out on site and to undertake preliminary assessment of the issue as soon as they can after a complaint is received.

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