Victoria has led a successful push to spur the Commonwealth into recognising an emerging national insurance crisis in the building industry.
At the Building Ministers Forum in Canberra on Friday, the Federal Government agreed to convene an urgent meeting with the Insurance Council of Australia to address the highly stressed professional indemnity insurance market.
The February 2020 meeting will be used to push insurers to reduce the cost and improve the availability of professional indemnity insurance for building industry practitioners.
The Commonwealth will also engage industry groups and key stakeholders including representatives of surveyors and engineers.
Ministers also agreed that building surveyor industry associations need to develop a Professional Standards Schemes as a matter of priority.
They noted that working together in this area will send a strong message to the insurance industry and consumers that building standards need to improve.
Victoria is continuing to lead the nation in addressing combustible cladding through its $600 million rectification program, with works on the priority buildings starting next week.
The states and territories have also agreed to consider Victoria’s position on seeking a ban on all Aluminium Composite Cladding containing more than seven per cent polyethylene, in consultation with industry.
The ban will provide clarity to industry about what products they can or cannot use. To support this, the Federal Government needs to prevent importation of dangerous cladding products, to stop them coming across the border and being used illegally.
As noted by Minister for Planning Richard Wynne
“This is a positive step forward in addressing an emerging insurance crisis happening across Australia.”
“We’re pleased the Commonwealth is finally recognising the problems facing the insurance market, but there is still much more work to be done at a national level to address this national problem.”