Queensland State Election 2017 – Master Builders priorities

Published: 9 November 2017

The building and construction industry delivers the homes, workplaces, schools, shops and hospitals Queenslanders need. It’s the cornerstone of our economy, and the number one provider of full-time jobs and contributor to gross state product.

While statistics report that building work has been at a record high, the industry is experiencing many challenges. Work has been concentrated, leaving large parts of the industry out in the cold. Areas such as the resource regions have seen little or no up lift from the record lows. The lack of affordability has restricted demand. As costs have continued to rise, contract prices have been contained, creating a ‘profitless boom’.

The Queensland Government’s Building Plan has initiated positive change on a range of fronts, however, there remains important unfinished business.

Master Builders asks the new government to commit to continuing the work already started and consider the following measures that are necessary to keep new buildings affordable, further strengthen our industry, and ensure it’s is well positioned to continue to deliver the buildings Queenslanders need.

Payments & disputes

  • Undertake a genuine and comprehensive review of security of payment reforms, in particular Project Bank Accounts to ensure an effective outcome that serves all parties – the owner, builder, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, suppliers and consultants
  • Resolve the major administrative burden of payment schedules that provide no benefit for builders or subcontractors and add unnecessary additional costs
  • Replace BCIPA and introduce a new system for resolving disputes, which is fairer for everyone and easier to use 
  • Ensure the judicious use of the sweeping new QBCC powers and return to a common sense approach in issuing directions  to rectify defective building work.

Liability & risk

  • Implement an industry-wide scheme of continuing professional development 
  • Cap builders’ liability for latent defects at 10 years under the common law of negligence
  • Reinstate the 5% impairment threshold for all common law injury claims.

Non-conforming products

  • Implement the product supply ‘chain of responsibility’ to ensure that contractors can rely on the evidence of suitability provided to them by the supplier/manufacturer; and can use the existing building certification process to comply with their own duty to provide evidence to the owner/client
  • Provide a comprehensive, easy-to-access product certification system to facilitate compliance
  • Ban the sale of non-Watermark products for which there is no compliant use
  • Ensure the safe use of polyethylene (PE) core aluminium composite panels, not by banning their use, but by working through the National Construction Code and Queensland Development Code as the industry ‘rule books’.

Safety

  • Unwind the unnecessary changes to Queensland’s workplace health and safety laws, in particular, the new offence of industrial manslaughter and the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission’s role in resolving disputes
  • Reintroduce the requirement for union permit holders to provide 24 hour written notice when seeking to enter business premises for suspected WHS contraventions.

Affordability & supply

  • Implement new funding models to increase the capital available to build new public buildings
  • Ensure the supply of affordable land to help manage the most significant cost component in the delivery of new homes
  • Introduce a mandatory statewide Housing Code to simplify approvals
  • Conduct a rigorous cost–benefit analysis that clearly shows a significant net benefit to the community before increasing energy efficiency and liveable housing requirements
  • Continue the $5K boost to the First Home Owners Grant beyond December 2017
  • End the stamp duty double dip for house and land packages and off-the-plan unit development; charging it only once on the land and exempting the cost of construction.

Our door is open

Master Builders is keen to discuss our election priorities in more detail with all parties. For more information or to discuss these issues, phone us on (07) 3225 6444 or email on industryvoice@mbqld.com.au.

For full details on Master Builders policy platform view our Policy & Advocacy Agenda 2017.