NSW launch construction watchdog to boost building quality

By Jarrod
4 Min Read

Homebuyers have a new reason to be confident about building quality with the official opening of the state’s first-ever dedicated building regulator.

Starting Monday, the Building Commission NSW opened its doors as the state’s one-stop shop for regulation, licensing and oversight of the sector. 

Led by Commissioner David Chandler, the standalone regulator is funded by the 24 million dollar “down payment” in the NSW budget and promises to put 400 people to work enforcing quality in the state’s buildings – 10 times the current regulatory workforce. 

Commissioner Chandler said the new team is comprised of “talented and committed people” dedicated to delivering the “trusted housing that the state’s community desperately needs”. 

The new commission is the latest in a line of attempts from the government to rectify the sorry state of apartment buildings across NSW.

In addition to hitting those responsible with work rectification orders, the Minns government has also “dramatically expanded” regulatory power over residential homes and instated the first-ever Minister for Building to monitor the state’s construction. 

From faulty waterproofing and shoddy carpentry to cracked concrete foundations, rushed construction jobs have already set owners back tens of millions of dollars in repairs over the last three years alone. 

According to a 2021 survey by Domain, almost four in 10 new apartment buildings across the state have serious defects, costing an average of $331,829 per building to fix.

Premier Chris Minns says the Building Commission NSW will have the power and resources to ‘turn the tide’ in the sector. 

“In recent years we’ve heard horror stories about defects in apartment buildings,” said Minns.

“We’re delivering more homes across the state, but we won’t let quantity get in the way of quality.

“Home buyers in NSW can be confident that we’ve got a tough cop on the beat in the building industry, ensuring that they can have confidence in the quality of the home they’re buying.”

Minister for Building Anoulack Chanthivong promised the new regulatory body would restore trust and integrity in the sector. 

“Buying a home is the great Australian dream, Building Commission NSW will help make sure it doesn’t turn into a nightmare.”

“New powers for the Building Commissioner are a critical step forward as we rebuild integrity in the NSW construction sector. There is no room in this state for rip-off merchants taking home buyers for a ride.

“We’ve already started the work required to weed out untrustworthy players in the market; with these new powers, we’ll be doing even more.”

Also launching alongside the commission is the state’s new Decennial Liability Insurance (DLI), a decade-long guarantee against serious defects. 

The recently completed 67-unit Parq building in Sydney will be the first in Australia to be covered by DLI, with their builder Urban Property rolling out the insurance across all future projects.

Owners in buildings covered by DLI can make a claim to get defects repaired for up to a decade after completion, whether their builder is still operating or not.

NSW is the first state in the nation to offer decennial liability insurance, and the NSW Government recently passed laws to encourage more builders to sign up and protect buyers.

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By Jarrod
Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.