Automatic mutual recognition of contractor licences a step closer
The Commonwealth has released an exposure draft of the Mutual Recognition Amendment Bill 2021, its uniform scheme for automatic mutual recognition (AMR) of state and territory-based occupational licences and registrations.
The reforms, which were announced last year and endorsed by National Cabinet, are intended to commence on 1 July 2021. Adoption or other enabling activity by the states will be required to complete the reform.
Current recognition schemes, relevantly that for contractor and specialist licences, are a simplified form of establishing a licence, but still require an application and fees. AMR would do away with that, in a bid to enable licence holders to work across jurisdictions, simply, quickly and cheaply.
What the Bill does not address are the idiosyncrasies between states in terms of what activity requires a contractor licence at all, an issue that will continue to plague cross-border contractors from a regulatory compliance perspective. AMR will not be a silver bullet to this issue. Interstate contractors who would not require a licence for an activity in their home state will still need to determine whether that activity would require a licence in NSW.
Given, in NSW, the adverse consequences of non-compliance with the Home Building Act, cross-border contractors will do well to continue to pay close attention to compliance, well beyond the anticipated introduction of AMR.
Author: Christine Jones
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March 22, 2021 – HIA provides some helpful information about what you can do when a homeowner contacts you complaining about issues from a severe weather event. Read more here.
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March 23, 2021 – HIA has developed resources to assist members to manage delays and price increases. Click here to learn more.
Planning approvals to be impacted by new State planning policy – 24 March 2021
ABCB consultation open: Building Manuals – a response to the Building Confidence Report
A discussion paper is now open for public consultation in response to the Building Confidence Report. Recommendation 20 of the Building Confidence Report states that each jurisdiction should require a comprehensive building manual for Class 2 - 9 buildings to be lodged with the building owners and made available to successive purchasers of the buildings. Responses to questions in the discussion paper are welcomed until 17 May 2021, using form via the ABCB’s Consultation Hub.
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A discussion paper is now open for public consultation in response to the Building Confidence Report. The report made 24 recommendations for a best practice model for compliance and enforcement, to strengthen the effective implementation of the National Construction Code (NCC). Comment closes 27 April 2021.
ABCB: Improvements to the code’s structure and format will be implemented for NCC 2022
To guide users through the changes, the ABCB has developed a range of supporting resources that will be released in stages leading up to the publication of the NCC 2022 public comment draft on 10 May 2021.
Adoption of NCC 2022 to be delayed
The delayed adoption will also see adjustments to key dates in the amendment cycle process for NCC 2022 to allow stakeholders time to participate. These adjusted dates include:
May – July 2021: NCC 2022 public comment draft released for public consultation.
May 2022: NCC 2022 preview published here.
If you have any questions regarding the delayed adoption of NCC 2022, please submit an online enquiry.
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Kwiatek v Elite Services (Aust) Pty Ltd  NSWCATAP 80
Leave to appeal is refused and the appeal is dismissed.
CONTRACT LAW – claim for breach of contract to carry out floor repairs – formation of contract and terms – no breach established.
Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act, 2013 (NSW); Home Building Act 1989 (NSW).
Global Abode Pty Ltd v Podgoetsky
The appellant is to pay the respondent’s costs of the appeal on the ordinary basis as agreed or, if not agreed, as assessed on the basis set out in the legal costs legislation (as defined in section 3A of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014).
COSTS – costs on appeal – appeal withdrawn – whether fixed sum costs order should be made.
In proceedings HB19/22752 filed in May 2019, Global Abode claimed $108,085.55 in respect of works and alleged approved variations under a home building contract between it and the homeowner, Mr Podgoetsky. In proceedings HB 19 /39527 Mr Podgoetsky claimed $94,844.94 from Global Abode in respect of alleged defective works performed under the contract.
The Owners – Strata Plan No 93543 v Zhang  NSWSC 277
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application to withdraw admissions – admission in List Response that plaintiff owners corporation was entitled to benefit of statutory warranties – further admissions that defendant entered into a contract with the builder of the strata development and that the builder entered into contracts with contractors on behalf of defendant – application to withdraw admissions made on first day of a five day hearing – where admissions said to have been made as a result of an error by counsel then briefed and by present solicitor – where withdrawal of admissions would cause plaintiff to seek to investigate further facts hitherto admitted and result in vacation of hearing dates.
Nutek Constructions Pty Ltd v Slotwinski  NSWSC 274
PROCEDURE – summary dismissal – COSTS – application for security of costs – no solicitor retained – application refused – costs in the cause – in conclusion, the Owner has been partially successful on this Motion and Nutek has also been partially successful, having resisted some of the orders sought.
Keogh v Commissioner for Fair Trading  NSWCATOD 30
(1) The Respondent’s decision that Mr Keogh is not a fit and proper person pursuant to sections 56 (b) and 56 (c) of the Home Building Act 1989 is affirmed.
FIT AND PROPER PERSON – whether false and misleading information provided – whether applicant provided false and misleading information – whether purpose of Act is to punish or protect – whether hardship can be taken into account in determining penalty.
Administrative Decisions Review Act 1997; Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013; Crimes Act 1900; Evidence Act 1995; Home Building Act 1989.
Hope v Hutchings; Hutchings v Hope  NSWCATAP 70
COSTS – Rule 38A Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2014 – amount claimed or in dispute in appeal proceedings – whether special circumstances must be established.
Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW); Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2014 (NSW); Home Building Act 1989.
OWNERS SP 92648 v BINAH CONSTRUCTIONS PL & ANOR  NSWCATAP 68
(4) Order that the respondents pay three-quarters of the appellant's costs of the appeal on the ordinary basis as agreed or assessed.
HOME BUILDING – whether costs order appropriate on consent transfer to Supreme Court – costs on appeal against primary costs order where a different order is made but not substantially that sought by appellant.
Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW), ss 60, 80, 81, Sch 4 cll 6, 12; Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2014 (NSW), rr 38, 38A; Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) Pt 4; Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) ss 3A, 3B, 3C, 18B, 18BA, 18C, 18D, 18E, 48A, 48K, 48L, 48MA.
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 article is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.