Several recent reviews have highlighted failures in the building regulatory system. These system failures have in part contributed to defective and low-quality buildings becoming an increasingly significant public safety and amenity issue.
Concerns about the regulatory system are supported by a range of observations and recommendations made by the Victorian Ombudsman, Victorian Auditor-General, the Victorian Cladding Taskforce and the Shergold-Weir Building Confidence Report.
The Victorian Government has committed to spending over $600 million to rectify combustible cladding on both public and private buildings and has established Cladding Safety Victoria to deliver this program.
Building Reform Expert Panel
In December 2019, the Government appointed an Expert Panel on Building Reform to lead a comprehensive review of Victoria’s building system.
The Panel members are:
- Anna Cronin - Chair and Commissioner for Better Regulation and Red Tape Commissioner
- 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
- 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
- Dr Gerry Ayers - Health and Safety Manager of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, 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.
Objectives of the Expert Panel
The Panel will work with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to provide recommendations to government on a building system that delivers safe, quality buildings with effective consumer protections, through a sustainable construction industry.
The objectives of the review are to provide a strengthened regulatory system that:
- delivers safe, compliant, durable, affordable and sustainable housing and buildings efficiently and effectively
- protects consumers and improve confidence in the industry and its regulators
- supports skilled and experienced practitioners to carry out compliant and safe practices
- provides support to regulators to effectively and efficiently enforce compliance.
Scope of the Expert Panel's work
The Panel will produce a Framework for Reform paper in mid-2020 that will:
- identify and advise on immediate reform actions
- evaluate the current building regulatory system
- identify key challenges facing consumers and industry
- establish overarching principles to guide the building system.
The Panel will then produce an Interim Report in late 2020, which will include a formal public consultation period. The Expert Panel’s Final Report will be submitted to the Minister for Planning in the first half of 2021.
Page last updated: 26/03/20