Topic: News

Worksite Cowboys article in The Age newspaper

  • Clare Kermond
  • The Age “Extra”
  • August 16, 2015

It has taken a giant pit in Mount Waverley to focus attention on the substandard regulation to builders and building inspectors in Victoria. Clare Kermond reports.

When your dream home becomes a nightmare

When a building job goes wrong consumers have disturbingly little recourse, writes Clare Kermond.

‘We felt going into it, what a great contract we have, we’ve got all this protection, we’ve done our homework.’
Alison Attard
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Building works collapse in Victoria

The Builders Collective is a non-profit group of experienced passionate Building industry practioners who represent generations of family businesses who have spent many years trying to raise awareness of the dilapidation of building industry and its regulations.
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State of play across the Nation on consumer protection

It appears virtually every jurisdiction is struggling with consumer protection in the building industry, and while our trade associations have no desire to change the status quo the current regime is destroying confidence, and the reputation of our industry.

The Northern Territory is in throes of assessing their regime.

Victoria is expecting a new Auditor General Report the near future and are considering change.

New South Wales are about to announce yet another inquiry due to warranty issues in that State.

Tasmania rid itself of the Last Resort regime some 6 years ago. Replaced it with nothing and has never looked back.

Western Australia adopted a new dispute and resolution process, and 80% of their 900 disputes last year were resolved by this process.


Northern Territory up-date on consumer protection reforms

The last Resort Fidelity Fund was introduced in January 2013 amid uproar within the Territory builders.

The Giles Government promised a review within 12 months however it was bought forward and a short review of 3 to 4 weeks was announced on 19th June 2013 by Minister Chandler.

The outcome in December 2013 was totally disappointing as the review failed to meet its terms of reference and was wasted.

We have met with a number of Territory Ministers that share our views and we await the outcomes, and look forward to Chief Minister Giles input to resolve the acute concerns of our industry.


Victorian up-date on building reforms

The Napthine Government announced a complete overhaul of the Consumer protection Framework in May 2013 to be implemented in 2014 and 2015.

Unfortunately the Parliamentary process has not been supported and the reforms have stalled and will not become law in this term of Parliament.

This situation has pleased the trade associations as they wish the status quo to remain and have the insurance facilitated by them, and in particular not see the warranty insurance become part of the One Stop Shop principle under a Statuary Fund that would directly compensate consumers without any third party vested interest.

We are pleased to announce the position of the Napthine Government prior to the election on the 29th November 2014 as provided to the BCA yesterday by email from our Attorney General/Finance Minister Mr Robert Clark.

From: robert.clark@parliament.vic.gov.au
Date: Tuesday, 7 October 2014 3:05 pm
Subject: Domestic building consumer protection reform

“The Napthine Government is committed to implementing the domestic building consumer protection reforms we have previously announced, which will provide better, fairer and simpler regulation and protection for both consumers and builders..

A re-elected Napthine Government will re-introduce legislation to implement the reforms following the resumption of Parliament after the election.”


The removal of the mandatory commercial defects insurance

The removal of the mandatory commercial defects insurance in Victoria took an agonising 8 years to achieve!

This insurance was required to obtain and activate a commercial licence each and every year. It is questionable if there was ever a claim against this insurance.

The Builders Collective persevered with its removal over the years and we would like to acknowledge the assistance of Jeff Norton who undertook a review of it while he was at the Building Commission and that outcome gave Minister Clark the opportunity to act on facts and remove the product altogether.

All commercial builders can now obtain their licence without the impost of an insurance policy that held no value. It was officially removed on the 30 June 2014

The Builders Collective claims full credit for the removal of this insurance.