The Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Chapter has welcomed the state government’s strengthened consumer protections for the building industry, amid concerns about delaying adoption of the National Construction Code.
The Institute’s Victorian Chapter President David Wagner also welcomed the appointment of Anna Cronin interim head of the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).
“Anna will bring a commitment for regulatory reform and senior executive experience that will help to reinvigorate the VBA,” he said.
Mr Wagner said the proposed measures to enhance the VBA’s powers to ensure construction companies took out appropriate insurance would improve consumer protections.
“We strongly endorse the strengthening of the VBA’s powers to investigate and enforce compliance with the statutory obligation on construction firms to hold appropriate insurance,” he said.
The Institute has raised concerns about the government’s stated consideration of a potential delay in the adoption of the new National Construction Code requirements (known as NCC 2022). The new provisions address climate adaptability and accessibility requirements for new buildings.
“While the Institute appreciates the impact that supply chain difficulties are having on the construction industry, these standards within NCC2022 are not only important, they determine the standard of our future built environment,” Mr Wagner said.
“We need to ensure our buildings are suited to both our modern needs and our future climate. We are all seeing what a changing environment is doing to the livability of our homes.
“Accessibility is a fundamental design requirement for all Australians and delaying compliance with NCC 2022 will just mean more homes in the future that require retrofitting, potentially at the owner’s expense.
“The Institute, therefore, asks that the Victorian government weigh up the real costs of delaying implementation before finalising any decision.”