27 September 2023

Dodgy builders to be nailed before acting

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The Department of Customer Service is to conduct a data-led audit program to target the State’s high risk building certifiers and multiply by three the number of buildings to come under scrutiny by the Building Regulator.

Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson said the Building Regulator was now equipped with powerful digital tools that could analyse more than 170 million lines of data to determine the worst performing certifiers along with the residential apartment buildings they were working on.

“This data-led approach, combined with our new legislated powers, allows us to zero
in on the worst players in the industry and audit the projects they are working on,” Mr Anderson said.

“If an audit identifies potentially defective or non-compliant building work we will step in immediately to issue rectification or stop work orders to protect consumers before they move in,” he said.

Mr Anderson said the new initiative would complement the pre-Occupational Certificate audits and inspections undertaken on residential apartment buildings under construction, and was expected to more than triple the number of buildings receiving an audit from the regulator.

The Minister said the pre-Occupational Certificate audit regime targeted around 50 site-based audits every six months.

“Through these new audits we expect to be able to audit an additional 100 to 150
buildings every six months,” he said.

“My message to those who have been breaching the rules is that the days of hiding in the shadows, cutting corners and taking consumers for a ride are ending.”

Mr Anderson said the Department’s new audit regime signalled the next phase in the State’s building reforms, which shifted the focus from investigating problems in existing buildings to identifying and eliminating them before they went to market.

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