The NSW Government is today announcing a major increase in the powers and resources of the NSW Building Commission to deliver quality homes for people in NSW, cracking down on poor practices in the building sector and boosting enforcement powers.
While the NSW Government is committed to tackling the NSW housing supply crisis after over a decade of inaction, the government will not allow quantity of homes to come at the expense of quality.
Laws set to pass parliament next week will mean that for the first time since the Building Commissioner was appointed, he will have the power to enter any apartment or free-standing home in NSW.
The Commissioner will also have the power to uncover defects before completion of buildings and compel builders to get them fixed.
Building Commission NSW will also receive a $24 million boost, allowing it to scale up to ensure quality buildings are being delivered in NSW.
Supercharging the regulator’s powers will ensure that as the state meets the urgent need for more homes, buyers can be confident about the quality of the home they’re buying.
The new laws also make critical changes to improve compliance and enforcement systems across the industry, including:
- New measures to prevent and penalise intentional phoenixing activities in the construction industry by cancelling or refusing licenses
- Introducing new responsibilities across the building products supply chain of, ensuring that all products used in buildings are safe, compliant, and suitable for their intended use.
The changes come as the NSW Government continues its crackdown on dishonest or fraudulent elements in the building sector, with the licenses of four building certifiers cancelled this year:
- On 4 July 2023, Fair Trading found that Mr Glenn Levick engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct and contravened a law with respect to fraud or dishonesty.
- On 30 August 2023, Fair Trading found that Mr Orlando Da Silva engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct, contravened the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and engaged in conduct that fell short of expected standards.
- On 14 September 2023, Fair Trading found that Mr Paul Gearin engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct, contravened the certification legislation and engaged in conduct that fell short of expected standards.
- On 6 October 2023, Fair Trading found that Mr Joseph Hallal engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct, contravened the certification legislation and engaged in conduct that fell short of expected standards.
The additional powers and resources are further supported by the NSW Government’s commitment this week to develop a pattern book of endorsed housing designs for low-rise and mid-rise (up to six storeys) buildings that will also enhance continuity of quality standards across new developments.
NSW Premier Chris Minns said:
“We’re delivering more homes across the state but we won’t let quantity get in the way of quality.
“Home buyers in NSW can be confident that we’ve got a tough cop on the beat in the building industry, ensuring that they can have confidence in the quality of the home they’re buying.
“We’re making the right investments and delivering the right powers to rebuild trust and integrity in this sector to help tackle the housing crisis in our state.”
Minister for Building and Minister for Fair Trading and Better Regulation Anoulack Chanthivong said:
“New powers for the Building Commissioner are a critical step forward as we rebuild integrity in the NSW construction sector. There is no room in this state for rip-off merchants taking home buyers for a ride.
“We’ve already started the work required to weed-out untrustworthy players in the market, with these new powers we’ll be doing even more.
“Grifters in this sector will have nowhere to hide in NSW.”