Commissioner builds team for industry overhaul
On 6 February, the NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, Kevin Anderson, announced that the recruitment process had commenced for up to 75 staff to support the newly appointed NSW Building Commissioner, David Chandler OAM, in his task to overhaul the NSW building and construction industry.
Recruitment will begin with hiring a ‘Transformation Management’ team of up to 15 operational staff, tasked exclusively with delivering the NSW Government’s six pillars of building reform. A further 60 roles responsible for implementing new audit, registration and lodgement processes are to be phased in over time.
The six reform pillars, which were announced in January, provide the aspirational framework for the reform process to be implemented by the Commissioner and concern establishing or improving: regulatory frameworks; rating systems; skills and capabilities; procurement methods; a digital future and the reputation for quality research. They are the latest articulation of NSW Government’s reform agenda in the context of the Shergold Weir Report.
The Shergold Weir Report of February 2018 provided 24 recommendations, relating to: registration and training of practitioners; roles and responsibilities of regulators; the role of fire authorities; integrity of private building surveyors; collecting and sharing building information and intelligence; adequacy of documentation and record keeping; inspection regimes; post-construction information management; building product safety; and implementation of the recommendations.
The NSW Government’s February 2019 response to the Shergold Weir Report, was to support the majority of the Report’s recommendations and to commit to appointing a Building Commissioner, overhauling compliance reporting, ensuring an industry-wide duty of care to homeowners and introducing registration requirements for building practitioners with reporting obligations. These commitments were further explored in its June 2019 ‘Building Stronger Foundations’ discussion paper.
A key legislative plank in the reforms, is the Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 and debate on the Bill resumes in the NSW Upper House in the final week of February 2020.
There is clearly a significant task ahead for the Commissioner and his 75 strong team, if they are to work towards achieving even some of the six reform pillars. But there is no mention in this of more front line resources to deal with complaints and enforcement throughout the industry, which is ultimately what makes any system of regulation a robust system.
Authors: Christine Jones & Rebecca Weakley
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Australia Bureau of Statistics
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Boyce v Building Professionals Board (No 2)  NSWCATOD 14
PROFESSIONAL DISCIPLINE – review of decision of Building Professionals Board to discipline an accredited certifier – unsatisfactory professional conduct – professional misconduct – appropriate penalty
Vella v Mir (No 3)  NSWCATAP 17
APPEAL – Costs of appeal – costs of first instance proceedings
Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013; Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2014; Home Building Act 1989
The Owners Strata Plan 87265 v Saaib  NSWSC 21
1. Uphold the claim by the Owners Corporation of client legal privilege in respect of the email
2. Mr Saaib's application to be permitted to inspect and copy the same is refused.
CIVIL PROCEDURE – notices to produce – client legal privilege – whether documents privileged under s 119 Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) – communications between plaintiff and witness where witness is also defendant in contingent proceedings – implied obligation of confidentiality where dominant purpose of communications is obtaining evidence
Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), Sch 2 – The Australian Consumer Law, s 18; Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) ss 117, 119, 131A; Home Building Act 1989 (NSW)
Proclamations commencing Acts
Better Regulation Legislation Amendment Act 2019 No 23 (2019-623) — published LW 16 December 2019
Schedule 1 amends the following Acts—(a)Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 No 46,(b)Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018 No 63,(c)Building Professionals Act 2005 No 115,
Reminder: Proclamation, appoint 23 March 2020 as the day on which Schedule 1.8 and  to that Act commence.
The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.