The building sector has welcomed a number of reforms over the past 12 months, bringing advantages to tradespeople and the wider public. Master Builders Australia (MBA) reflects on some of the changes that have taken place, as well as the benefits the industry has reaped as a result.
A number of government departments - including the Department of Housing and Public Works - have been lobbied by the MBA over the course of 2014 to introduce changes. The MBA said there have been some "significant wins for the industry" as red tape and excessive regulations are reduced.
For example, a dispute resolution process has been put in place, which should help protect builders against unnecessary claims. Not only this, a comprehensive licensing system was introduced in 2014, which will assist the most qualified builders in the industry in finding work. This means that customers who employ experts to assist with air conditioner installation or floor sanding can now expect to find it easier to locate the most skilful people in the business.
One of the MBA's headline successes of the past year has been lobbying against a system that played contractors off against each other. A major issue was that unfair practices were promoted, as was corruption, which encouraged the group to work alongside the government to call for change. In light of this, a new process is now in place that should level the playing field for contractors and make the system fairer for everyone involved.
All work that is carried out by Queensland Building and Construction Commission licensees is required to be performed under the state's Home Warranty Scheme. It does, however, only apply to residential work valued at $3,300 or more.
However, the scheme does not apply to licensees who are working as subcontractors for a principal contractor, or for those working for someone with an owner-builder permit.