26 September 2023

Should builders & developers fix problems?

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The Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) is calling for community input on proposed new regulations aimed at keeping construction developers accountable for the work they do.

Opening consultation, the Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction, Rebecca Vassarotti said the current chain of accountability in the ACT’s building regulatory system did not place regulatory responsibility on developers for building quality issues.

“This must change,” Ms Vassarotti said.

“Property developers within the building and construction industry must face greater accountability,” she said.

“That is why the ACT is developing a system that holds developers to account for development activity over which they have influence or control, with a focus on large‐scale residential and mixed‐use property developments.”

Ms Vassarotti called on Canberrans to share their views on a new EPSDD discussion paper considering a range of issues and proposing different options for developer regulation.

She said the community feedback would help the Directorate develop a framework that improved accountability and provided the public with greater information about developments and the developers behind them.

“While recognising poor behaviour by only a few developers is largely responsible for a poor public perception of developers, we expect any developer regulation framework will improve building quality and safety, particularly in multi-storey development,” the Minister said.

“The discussion paper looks at a range of options, which include a licensing or registration scheme, public disclosure obligations about developers and development activity,” she said.

“Some of the options we’re looking at may be complementary with each other and could be implemented together,” she said.

Ms Vassarotti said the discussion paper, open until 27 February, incorporated feedback from previous inquiries, stakeholder engagement, Government reports, media reports, academic literature, and jurisdictional review.

EPSDD’s 65-page Developer Regulation Discussion Paper can be accessed at this PS News link.

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