Seven workers standing on construction site foundation

AMCA makes submission to NSW Building Stronger Foundations discussion paper

Published: 25 July 2019

In responding to the Building Stronger Foundations consultation in NSW, the AMCA has emphasised the need to recognise the broader context that impacts the way projects are delivered. 

Earlier this month, the AMCA submitted a response to the NSW Government's Building Stronger Foundations discussion paper.

The discussion paper outlines a suite of building industry reforms to address some of the recommendations made by the national Building Confidence Report. 

In the paper, the NSW Government outlines several reforms that aim to deliver a more robust regulatory framework for the construction of buildings in the state: 

  • A new registration scheme for building designers;
  • The need for building designers to declare plans and performance solutions are compliant with the Building Code; 
  • The need for builders to declare that construction work is consistent with the design;
  • Requiring an industry-wide duty of care to subsequent homeowners; and
  • The appointment of a new NSW Building Commissioner.

In response to these reforms,  AMCA NSW emphasised the need for any effort to improve building compliance to recognise the broader context that impacts how projects are delivered.

Key issues raised in the submission include: 

  • The procurement strategy is critical for compliance matters as terms in construction contracts usually define roles and responsibilities;
  • Regulatory schemes must define key roles and responsibilities of company directors concerning key safety issues including the installation and maintenance of Essential Safety Measures;
  • The regulatory regime must recognise and impose certain obligations on bodies corporate, including the need to carry appropriate levels of insurance and ensuring that appropriately qualified persons are employed to act on behalf of the company;
  • Occupationally licensed individuals should not carry the compliance burden of the company;
  • Risks in construction contracts should reside with those most capable of managing it and construction contracts should not transfer risk by way of unfair contract conditions
  • Contractual responsibility for warranties and indemnity risks but need to be should be restricted/limited to the scope of work for which the company has contracted.
  • National consistency is critical to avoid unintentional non-compliance and to minimise red-tape for companies operating in multiple jurisdictions; and
  • An NSW Building and Construction Commission should be established with defined powers to act on non-compliance and rectification work.

The AMCA will continue to engage closely with the NSW Government as they continue the reform process.

Download the AMCA submission here .