$1.1 Million For Building Industry Support

SA Gov

The Malinauskas Labor Government is investing an additional $1.1 million over the next two years to support consumers and industry with building complaints.

This funding will support the state's consumer watchdog, Consumer and Business Services (CBS), to expand its response and better support consumers and builders, following the challenges that have confronted the industry over the past few years.

The additional staff will boost CBS's response to building issues at every point in the process including providing advice to assist consumers and traders to resolve their building disputes and overseeing conciliation.

They will also assess complaints to determine whether enforcement action is required.

On a per capita basis, South Australia has had one of the lowest rates of builder insolvencies nation-wide.

Most consumers do not experience major issues while building a home and complaints largely relate to completion delays caused by historic issues.

The Malinauskas Government is also currently undertaking the most significant review of the state's building regulations in nearly 20 years.

The review will consider a range of issues including:

  • Developing an easier dispute resolution process for consumers and reducing the costs of dispute resolution for all parties.
  • The introduction of a permit system for owner-builders to prevent unlicensed builders posing as owner-builders.
  • Requiring building inspectors to be registered due to concerns about unqualified inspectors providing shoddy reports.
  • Considering whether developers should be regulated to ensure sanctions can be issued where they have failed to fulfil their obligations.
  • Ensuring consumers are adequately protected where builders may seek to exploit sunset provisions in contracts.
  • Considering whether tougher penalties and new categories of offending are needed for breaches.
  • Considering whether mandatory Continuing Professional Development Schemes should be introduced for builders, electricians and plumbers.

The topics for review came from a series of roundtables convened by Minister Michaels and CBS with key industry bodies and training providers with extensive consultation to commence shortly.

The State Government is also undertaking a review of Building Indemnity Insurance with a view to improve consumer protections and the insurance framework for builders.

As put by Andrea Michaels

South Australia has fared well compared to the eastern states with issues experienced in the building industry, however, where there are complaints, we want to ensure that consumers and builders are supported to reach a resolution as quickly as possible.

That's why we are investing an additional $1.1 million to hire additional staff to boost Consumer and Business Services' ability to provide assistance.

South Australians rely on builders and tradies, and we want to make sure they get the support they need to resolve disputes quickly and effectively.

As put by Will Frogley, Chief Executive of Master Builders SA

We thank Minister Michaels and the Malinauskas Government for listening to Master Builders SA and the industry and investing to better resource the Department of Consumer and Business Services (CBS).

Ensuring CBS is adequately resourced to investigate and resolve complaints will ensure that the very small number of builders who do the wrong thing will not tarnish the reputation of the whole industry.

We have so many good builders in SA, and our industry is strong and ready to deliver the homes we need. Consumers can be confident that if they do their homework and choose a reputable builder, they will get a great result.

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