Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy admits it’s going to take time to create a system where consumers aren’t left in the lurch by dodgy builders and a flawed insurance scheme.
The Coalition Government is to better protect building consumers as described in their media release below:
Coalition Government to better protect building consumers
The Victorian Coalition Government today announced that it will introduce a Domestic
Building Consumer Protection Fund to better protect Victorian domestic building consumers.
The establishment of the Fund will further strengthen the role of the Victorian Building
Authority in providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ for building regulation and consumer protection under
the Government’s Domestic Building Consumer Protection Reform Strategy.
“The Government will phase out the current insurance arrangements by 30 June 2015,
meaning there will be a single, integrated, statutory body to which consumers can look for all
aspects of protection – from responding to consumer complaints, to providing cover if a
builder defaults through to deregistering dodgy builders,” Minister for Finance Robert Clark
“For builders, the new Fund will mean a single, integrated process for registration and for
coverage of their projects, without their livelihood being dependent on separately satisfying a
regulator and an insurance company.
“The new arrangements will provide improved protection for families and individuals who
invest large sums to build or renovate their home.”
Mr Clark said consumer protection provided under the new Fund would include the expanded
cover previously announced as part of the Government’s Domestic Building Consumer
Protection Reform Strategy. This expanded coverage will apply when:
a builder disappears, becomes permanently and significantly incapacitated, becomes
insolvent or dies;
a builder is de-registered or has their registration suspended; and/or
a Rectification Order issued under the new dispute resolution arrangements has not
been complied with.
As well, the maximum payout will increase to $300,000, compared with the current $200,000
Minister for Consumer Affairs Heidi Victoria said the new Fund will significantly improve
consumer protection in Victoria.
“The additional triggers for compensation claims and more extensive coverage will ensure
greater protection for consumers engaging with builders. This reform will enhance consumer
and industry confidence in Victoria’s building system,” Ms Victoria said.
The expanded coverage will commence later this year, in conjunction with commencement of
the new Rectification Order and registration reforms by VBA.
Until the commencement of the Domestic Building Consumer Protection Fund on 1 July 2015,
the expanded coverage will be provided under domestic building insurance cover to be
provided exclusively by the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority.
The Essential Services Commission will continue to monitor and report publicly on the
performance of domestic building insurance during the transition period and thereafter will
monitor and report publicly on the performance of the Fund and its relationship with VBA’s