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Property and construction reform on the cards for NSW and ACT

David Chandler OAM

Purchasers of newly constructed property will be better protected across NSW and the ACT with separate announcements for the introduction of measures to improve building quality.

The NSW Premier has announced the appointment of a state building commissioner, as part of the government’s commitment “to implementing the biggest overhaul to building laws in the state’s history”, while the ACT government has noted it will be consulting on “a series of substantial reforms to improve building quality in the territory”. 

NSW reform

The building commissioner role has already been fulfilled, with the announcement of David Chandler OAM to be taking on the responsibilities associated with the newly created role.

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According to a state government statement, the building commissioner will be responsible for the investigation and disciplinary action for misconduct in the building industry, the overseeing of end-to-end licensing and auditing across the industry, and the driving of legislative reforms of the building industry, inclusive of consultation. 

Noting reduced community confidence in how buildings are designed and constructed and how they perform, Mr Chandler said he welcomes the commitment shown by the government “to implement change that will strengthen the construction industry foundations in NSW”. 

Ms Berejiklian noted that Mr Chandler has more than 40 years of industry experience, “which will be invaluable as we move to restore confidence in the building and construction industry”. 

“We know there are national challenges affecting the industry, but this new appointment will play a key role in protecting NSW home owners and driving critical reforms,” she continued. 

The creation of the role is part of a statewide legislative overhaul, which will see building practitioners required to register, the creation of a new duty of care to make it easier for home owners to seek compensation against negligent building practitioners, and require compliance of all building designs and constructions with the Building Code of Australia.  

ACT reform

A statement from the ACT government showed that the territory has implemented a series of substantial reforms to improve building quality. 

As part of the reform, a Builders Code of Practice will be introduced later this year to support “the safe and professional construction of buildings”, it has been reported. 

The new code will set out the minimum requirements for the territory’s 3,000 licensed builders and outline their obligations for the carrying out or supervising of work, according to the Minister for Building Quality Improvement, Gordon Ramsay. 

A statement said the code will outline the builder’s responsibilities when engaging or contracting people to carry out building work, levels of supervision, critical stages to check that work is compliant with codes and standards, a process for handling client complaints, and record-keeping requirements. 

The reform will form part of the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004, which is enforceable under the ACT Construction Occupations Registrar. 

“The Canberra community can rightly expect that licensed builders carry out their services with reasonable care and diligence, be accountable for the staff they employ, personally inspect relevant building work, and ensure it complies with building standards and approved plans,” Minister Ramsay said.

Property and construction reform on the cards for NSW and ACT
David Chandler OAM
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Grace Ormsby

Grace Ormsby

Grace Ormsby is a journalist for Momentum Media's Nest Egg. 

Before moving into the finance realm, Grace worked on Nest Egg's sister site Lawyers Weekly, and was previously a staff reporter at the NSW Business Chamber. 

She holds a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism), a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Diploma of Legal Practice from the University of Newcastle.

Grace can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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