State, territory, and Commonwealth ministers have agreed to establish a national approach to implement the recommendations made by the landmark Shergold-Weir report – a move welcomed by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).
Under the new national approach, discussed at a Building Ministers Forum (BMF) held in Sydney, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) will oversee the implementation of the 24 recommendations of the Shergold-Weir report. A dedicated implementation team, consisting of government and industry representatives, will also be established to drive implementation of building sector reforms, including potential changes to the National Construction Code (NCC).
The “agreement between the states and territories on implementing nationally consistent building standards is a step in the right direction, but action is now urgently required to restore confidence in the building and construction sector,” said Rob Whelan, CEO of Insurance Council of Australia.
The peak insurance industry body said it would like to see the urgent design and implementation of a nationally consistent audit and risk assessment regime, the introduction of nationally consistent ratings, as well as the design and implementation of a national cladding and non-conforming building products rectification program using consistent standards and approach.
Whelan also noted that “the insurance industry must have a formal role, including permanent representation on the ABCB, to ensure insurance perspectives are heard.”
“Insurers remain concerned any delays in implementing the Shergold-Weir recommendations and action being taken by the ABCB will further undermine public and industry confidence in the construction sector,” Whelan said. “The ICA is willing to engage with governments and regulatory authorities to ensure the restoration of confidence and stability in the construction industry is achieved as soon as possible.”