30 June 2022
The outcomes of the QBCC Governance Review have been released, including the Queensland Government’s response to the review and a 90-day action plan with some positive recommendations made in line with Master Builders QBCC Governance Review submission.
The review made 17 recommendations for reform, all of which were endorsed in full, or in principle, by the government. The review outcomes, when implemented, should generate positive changes for Master Builders members and generally improve the QBCC's capability and capacity to properly regulate the industry.
A key reform recommended by Master Builders was the separation of the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme from the QBCC. This reform has been accepted and given in principle support by Government. The QBCC being both the regulator and industry insurer has been an issue for members for many years. Its resolution is welcomed.
While the review did not recommend disbanding the QBCC Board and folding the QBCC back into the department as recommended in our submission, it has supported reducing the size of the Board and introducing greater integrity controls. Also, an industry advisory body will be established in legislation to allow industry to directly engage with the Board.
Other recommendations in the report are targeted at improving the culture, capability, service practices and skill levels of the regulator. These initiatives are welcomed and will go some way to addressing the many performance issues impacting on the regulator, as raised in our submission.
A particularly significant initiative is the establishment of an independent Resolution and Review Unit within the QBCC. The Unit will provide end-to-end resolution services including both mediation and arbitration to resolve defective building work disputes in a timely manner. The mediation step of the process will not be limited to active contracts, (as per the current EDR process) and will be undertaken by trained mediators rather than building inspectors.
Our major concern at this point is the reference to the need to consider an alternative funding model. There is no detail about what this could mean. However, the report flags the possibility of an industry levy, in addition to licensing fees.
Next steps & more information
We will continue to review the details of the report and the government’s response, and keep members informed and updated on the progress of the implementation.
Read more information on the QBCC Governance Review on the Queensland Government’s website.