On 30 September the Institute received a letter from the Director of Building at DELWP, Dr Trevor Pisciotta, seeking input into DELWP’s proposal to create an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for parties involved in the installation of combustible cladding. The Victorian Government intends to recover from industry the $750 million they have expended on addressing combustible cladding and proposes an ADR as a mechanism to obtain these funds without utilizing our society’s established justice system. In the words of Dr Pisciotta:
“An important step in recovering costs and improving practitioner behavior is to take action against practitioners that have been responsible for the installation or use of non-compliant combustible cladding. The State is proposing an ADR Scheme that provides an opportunity for parties involved in the installation of combustible cladding to voluntarily come together, in a without prejudice environment and assisted by a skilled conciliator, to arrive both more economically and expeditiously at a settlement outcome.”
This correspondence comes hard on the heels of DELWP’s proposed Building, Planning and Heritage Amendment (Administration and Other Matters) Bill 2022, which included recasting the ARBV board as a regulator of the architectural profession without the mandatory expertise of architects. The Institute is examining the cost recovery proposal and seeking advice on how best to respond. DEWLP are intending to progress with the ADR system, so the Institute will work to encourage the ADR to be as fair and just as the government will allow.
More broadly the Institute has been preparing State Election Priorities for broadcasting to the community to promote issues which benefit the community and our built environment. The Priorities that we have worked up are:
- Create a roadmap to zero-carbon buildings
- Deliver building reforms to enhance quality
- Raise apartment design standards and quality
- Make the business of building Victoria easier
- Strengthen heritage and sustainability together
These will be released through media channels and the Institute’s website shortly in the lead-up to the 26 November State Election. To optimize the distribution of these priorities and get the message across, members are encouraged to discuss with friends and colleagues as well as local members of parliament. In such conversations it would be appropriate to emphasize that fair, just and equitable processes and regulation are also important attributes that should be fundamental to how a future Victorian state government and its departments operate.
David Wagner FRAIA
President of Victorian Chapter