There are many indications that the current building system is not fit for purpose. These have been highlighted in previous reviews, such as the Victorian Cladding Taskforce reports, and the Shergold Weir Building Confidence report.
The government is already taking steps to deliver urgent action, including by:
- establishing the $600 million Cladding Rectification Program
- introducing a power for the Minister for Planning to ban dangerous cladding products
- working with the Victorian Building Authority to prepare a code of conduct for building surveyors
- changing professional indemnity insurance requirements so that practitioners are no longer required to hold a policy free of cladding exclusions
- developing options for mandatory continuing professional development schemes for practitioners
Further to this work, an expert panel has been established to provide recommendations to government on how to deliver a better building system that is underpinned by a modern and effective legislative framework.
The Commissioner for Better Regulation, Anna Cronin, is chairing the panel, supported by:
- Dame Judith Hackitt - Chair of the UK Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety and former Chair of the UK Health and Safety Executive
- Dr Gerry Ayers - Health and Safety Manager of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (Construction and General Division – Victorian/Tasmanian Branch)
- Professor Ian Bailey AM SC - Founding Chair of the Society of Construction Law Australia and professorial fellow at the Melbourne Law School
- Lauren Solomon - CEO of the Consumer Policy Research Centre
- Melanie Fasham - Past President of the Master Builders Association of Victoria and member of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee
Scope of Work
The panel will produce a Framework for Reform paper in mid-2020 that will:
- evaluate the current building regulatory system, including the role of regulators and effectiveness of previous reforms
- identify key challenges facing consumers and industry, and propose key themes to be investigated and addressed throughout the reform process
- establish overarching principles to guide the building system
- identify and advise on immediate reform actions
The Framework will be released in mid-2020 as a basis for consultation.
Following this paper, the panel will also prepare:
- an interim report to be released in late-2020, including a formal public consultation period
- a final report to be submitted to the Minister for Planning in the first half of 2021
The panel's full scope of work is set out in its terms of reference.
Reviewed 20 March 2020