NSW boosts Building Commission's powers to deliver quality homes with new proposed laws

The government continues its crackdown on dishonest or fraudulent elements in the building sector

NSW boosts Building Commission's powers to deliver quality homes with new proposed laws

The NSW government has announced new proposed laws to enhance the powers and resources of the NSW Building Commission to deliver quality homes, cracking down on poor practices in the building sector and boosting enforcement powers.

Laws expected to pass parliament soon will grant unprecedented authority to the Building Commissioner, allowing entry into any apartment or free-standing home in NSW. The Commissioner will also have the power to uncover defects before the completion of buildings and compel builders to get them fixed.

The NSW government emphasised that while it is committed to tackling the housing supply crisis after over a decade of inaction, it would not allow quantity of homes to come at the expense of quality.

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The commissioner will gain the power to identify defects before the completion of buildings and compel builders to rectify them. The Building Commission NSW will also receive a $24m boost, allowing it to scale up to ensure quality buildings are being delivered in NSW. The government said that enhancing 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 homes they are buying.

The legislative changes also target compliance and enforcement systems within 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, 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.

In addition to these measures, the NSW government has committed to developing a pattern book of endorsed housing designs for low-rise and mid-rise buildings up to six storeys. This initiative aims to enhance the continuity of quality standards across new developments.

"We're delivering more homes across the state, but we won't let quantity get in the way of quality," NSW Premier Chris Minns said. "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."

Minister for Building and Minister for Fair Trading and Better Regulation Anoulack Chanthivong underscored the importance of the Commissioner's new powers in rebuilding integrity within the NSW construction sector.

"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," Chanthivong said.

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