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  • Samantha Reece

QLD Leads the Charge

With the issues relating to cladding and phoenix companies (set up to be liquidated once the apartments are completed and sold), the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has undeniably taken a very proactive stance, which is undoubtedly going to spell good news for the State’s long term growth.

Firstly, the State Government is in the process of legislating to ban combustible cladding – the first state to take such action. And it’s no wonder why, with some NSW buildings, reportedly being as high as 29 storeys made from “esky” material, and highly flammable – it is essential to nip this crisis in the bud. And while some may argue that cladding can play its role in building projects – the signs from insurance companies and banks is that they hold a very different view on this matter indeed.

While NSW and Victoria had dipped into the Government coffers to fund cladding replacement programmes to the tune of $500 and $600 million respectively, the QLD Government is instead choosing to simply build safe buildings.

In addition, the Government is holding manufacturers more accountable and the Developer/Builder importing the materials/products will also have to demonstrate that the standards being produced meet Australian Standards and this added surety gives the buyer confidence in the quality of the build.

And finally the QBCC is getting to know their registered builders intimately and are even offering financial advisers to assist with restructuring etc to ensure that there is adequate financial buffers in place so that these companies are around in the long term to stand by their builds and warranties. Furthermore, trusts are being established for construction contracts and while the builder can draw down their own direct charges – they can only approve sub-contractors invoices, which are then paid directly from the same trust.

This approach of prevention versus cure and collaboration – while more time consuming and a greater workload – seems to tick all the boxes when it comes to consumer protection. And with 2.5 million people living in apartments Australia wide – and that number only growing – this is a community that needs to feel confident in their housing purchases.

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