22 Nov 2019

Draft NSW 'Design Build Practitioners Bill’ does not extend compliance far enough

press release, building, advocacy
Draft NSW 'Design Build Practitioners Bill’ does not extend compliance far enough

Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) has submitted its responses to the draft legislation of the Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 and ‘Building Stronger Foundations’ Discussion Paper.

In its submission to the NSW Government’s Better Regulation Division, AIPM acknowledged that the legislation is a major step forward in ensuring compliant building work, considering the systematic failures within current building codes and conduct within the building and construction industry.
AIPM believes the aims of the Bill are admirable and in line with community expectations. The obligations of building practitioners are well-defined; however, the Bill currently limits its focus on designers and constructors and ignores broader project management and certifier compliance. Obligations remain limited, and not extended across the full process of building work.
‘We need to ensure the Bill has adequate countermeasures that would actively discourage short cuts that are currently being taken in the building industry’, says Ms Elizabeth Foley, CEO at AIPM.
The draft legislation currently defines practitioner as a ‘design practitioner, principal design practitioner or building practitioner’. There would be various other practitioners involved in a typical building including project managers and certifiers, yet currently excluded in this definition, and therefore the compliance process, who need to ensure work is completed in accordance with a concept design and with building codes and standards.   
‘There needs to be a commitment to compliance providing adequate coverage of the full design process, and this can’t be achieved by the current definition of “practitioner” in the Bill’, Ms Foley said.
AIPM also believes education is a key issue within management and leadership in construction, causing the gap in accountability across building work processes, and compliance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) ‘performance requirements’.

‘We have university graduates coming straight out of classrooms and given tasks they are not experienced in, with no practical building knowledge and more importantly they do not have the skills or confidence to communicate with trades people and builders alike’, Ms Foley said.
The draft Bill is hosted on the NSW Govt website, which can be accessed here
A full version of AIPMs response to the draft Bill can be accessed by clicking the button below.

Elizabeth Foley, CEO of AIPM is available for comment on request.

Media Contact:
Marcus Sandmann
Chief Marketing Officer
Australian Institute of Project Management
P: +0411 877643
E: msandmann@aipm.com.au