New laws to restore trust and integrity to NSW building

by | Dec 14, 2023

On November 30, the New South Wales Government announced a major increase in the powers and resources of the New South Wales Building Commission to deliver quality homes for people in the state, cracking down on poor practices in the building sector and boosting enforcement powers.

While the state Government is committed to tackling the New South Wales housing supply crisis after over a decade of inaction, the government will not allow the quantity of homes to come at the expense of quality.

Laws set to pass parliament in December mean that for the first time since the Building Commissioner was appointed, he will have the power to enter any apartment or free-standing home in New South Wales.

The Commissioner will also have the power to uncover defects before the completion of buildings and compel builders to get them fixed. Building Commission New South Wales will also receive a $24 million boost, allowing it to scale up to ensure quality buildings are being delivered in the state.

Supercharging the regulator’s powers will ensure that as the state meets the urgent need for more homes, buyers can be confident about the quality of the home they are buying. The new laws also make critical changes to improve compliance and enforcement systems across the industry, including:

  • New measures to prevent and penalise intentional phoenixing activities in the construction industry by cancelling or refusing licenses.
  • Introducing new responsibilities across the building products supply chain, ensuring that all products used in buildings are safe, compliant, and suitable for their intended use.

The changes come as the New South Wales Government continues its crackdown on dishonest or fraudulent elements in the building sector, with the licenses of four building certifiers cancelled this year.

The additional powers and resources are further supported by the New South Wales Government’s commitment to develop a pattern book of endorsed housing designs for low-rise and mid-rise (up to six storeys) buildings that will also enhance the continuity of quality standards across new developments.

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns said, “We are delivering more homes across the state but we will not let quantity get in the way of quality.”

“Home buyers in New South Wales can be confident that we have got a tough cop on the beat in the building industry, ensuring that they can have confidence in the quality of the home they are buying.”

“We are making the right investments and delivering the right powers to rebuild trust and integrity in this sector to help tackle the housing crisis in our state,” Premier Minns said.

The Minister for Building and Minister for Fair Trading and Better Regulation Anoulack Chanthivong said, “New powers for the Building Commissioner are a critical step forward as we rebuild integrity in the New South Wales construction sector. There is no room in this state for rip-off merchants taking home buyers for a ride.”

“We have already started the work required to weed out untrustworthy players in the market, with these new powers we will be doing even more. Grifters in this sector will have nowhere to hide in New South Wales,” Mr Chanthivong concluded.