Victoria follows Queensland on the Accreditation System for developers

We refer to our update of:
Government Review Committee recommends accreditation system for developers”, that advised QLD Government Review Committee recommends accreditation system for developer.

Now the Victorian Government has released the stage two report on the Expert Panel’s review of the Victorian Building System. 

The Expert Panel chaired by the Victorian Commissioner for Better Regulation is undertaking a comprehensive review of Victoria’s building system. The Panel is undertaking its review in three stages, culminating in advice and recommendations to the Victorian Government for the development of a new Building Act 1993.

The key factors cited by the Expert Panel as the basis for the proposed reform are:

  1. The conclusion regulatory system has not kept pace with current industry trends and behaviours; and
  2. High profile building failures that have contributed to a lack of confidence in the regulatory system.

Expert Panel’s 14 key recommendations

The Panel has published its Stage Two Report which proposes 14 key recommendations for reform, focused around 5 issues:

  1. Extending accountability, including to developers;
  2. Compliance, enforcement, and discipline;
  3. Insurance;
  4. Dispute prevention and resolution; and
  5. Building maintenance, products, and technologies

Extending Accountability Recommendations
include a focus on developers.
In particular, the recommendations relate to developers having an increased responsibility for oversight in respect of residential apartment projects and high-risk buildings.

Focus on developers

Some of the most notable recommendations to emerge from the Stage Two Report include the proposal to bring developers into the legislative scheme and to impose statutory obligations on developers, in addition to those imposed on builders and other registered practitioners.

That recommendation reflects the view of the Expert Panel that developers have certain contractual powers to influence the quality and standard of building work performed. It is also generally consistent with the approach taken in NSW, where developer responsibilities are imposed under the NSW regime.

In particular, the Expert Panel recommends to the following to increase accountability for developers, builders, and other parties under existing mechanisms:

  1. Firstly, to consider extending the warranties under section 8 of the Domestic Buildings Contracts Act 1995 to include developers; and
  2. Secondly, to introduce a statutory duty of care to strengthen building owners’ abilities to seek recourse through negligence claims; and
  3. Thirdly, consideration of a Developer Bond Scheme which developers would be required to set aside a sum of money or have an alternative, like a bank guarantee that would be available to pay for repairs, for defective or noncompliant building works.

What’s next?

The next part of the review is Stage Three. That final stage of the Panel’s work will finalise the recommended reform package, including advice to Government on the development of a framework for a new Building Act, and changes to regulations to align with the outcomes of Stages One and Two. Stage Three will provide the scope to further refine the reforms to ensure they continue to give effect to the intended objectives and outcomes of the Review.


Key contacts:

Stephen Pyman – Director


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