National building agreement welcome, now focus on action

The Australian Institute of Architects has welcomed the agreement today from the Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) to take a national approach to implementing all 24 recommendations of the Shergold-Weir Building Confidence report.

Attending the industry roundtable in Sydney this morning, the Institute was also supportive of discussions that envisaged an expanded role for the Australian Building Codes Board and looks forward to the release of further details.

National President, Professor Helen Lochhead, said the Institute had been calling for national consistency and the uniform adoption of the recommendations from day one.

‘Today’s announcement is a welcome and positive step towards rebuilding public confidence in Australia’s construction industry that we fully support and endorse,’ Professor Lochhead said.

‘Industry, and most importantly consumers, can have some assurance that there will be a nationally consistent approach to addressing these complex and deeply concerning issues plaguing the construction industry.

‘With this agreement in place the focus now needs to be on action and putting clear timeframes for implementation of each and every recommendation, building on the plan the BMF released in March.

‘The Shergold-Weir report, now 18-months old, specified a three-year timeframe for the implementation of its recommendations.

‘There is a huge amount of work still to do and the urgency of pursuing both reforms and rectification works in the interest of public safety must not be allowed to wane.

‘We will also be working collaboratively with other stakeholder associations to continue to improve practice.’

The Institute said measures to ensure the consistent registration of qualified building practitioners across all jurisdictions and reform to ensure continuous, truly independent certification of building works throughout construction, must be priorities.

The Institute was also looking forward to updates from the BMF on key actions agreed at its meeting in February, including Ministers’ in principle agreement to a national ban on the unsafe use of combustible ACPs in new construction and legislating a duty of care to building owners.

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Alexandra Nesbitt
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Australian Institute of Architects 
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