Engineers Australia on progress of building sector reforms

Jonathan Russell, National Manager, Public Affairs – Engineers Australia

“The NSW Parliament is this week debating the Design and Building Practitioners Bill which, to be fully effective, should be passed together with the Professional Engineers Registration Bill 2019, which is a Private Members Bill.

“These two Bills represent significant and complementary policy reforms. Engineers Australia is pleased that all political stakeholders are taking the time to carefully consider their benefits.

“Today, the NSW Legislative Council Public Liability Committee released its inquiry report, ‘Regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes,’ and the report recommends that a comprehensive professional engineers registration scheme is necessary and should be part of the current reform process.

“Our consistent position is that, on behalf of our 25,000 members in NSW, Engineers Australia supports the first recommendation in the Shergold-Weir report and the Opal Tower report that there must be compulsory registration for a wide range of engineering practices in the NSW building sector.

“As the leading professional association for engineers, Engineers Australia also supports extending registration requirements to anyone providing a professional engineering service in any industry (unless if working under the supervision of a registered engineer, or if only applying a prescriptive design or standard).

“In the interests of community safety and consumer protection, it should be legislated that only a person with relevant engineering qualifications, experience and ongoing education can call themselves an engineer and legally carry out professional engineering work on office buildings, factories and apartments, and public infrastructure, such as freeways and bridges, amongst other things.

“The current reform process should ensure that all buildings in NSW are designed and built in line with the obligations in the Building Code of Australia.

“Engineers Australia is respectfully urging all relevant political stakeholders to work together to achieve these outcomes in 2019

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