Housing body calls for proposed changes to be ‘expedited’

The HIA has urged for proposed changes to the national Building Code to be expedited in order to continue to provide the infrastructure that Australian communities “desperately need”.

Changes to strengthen the implementation of the national Building Code, which “provides the benchmark” for ensuring that building work is carried out fairly, are widely supported by the industry according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

David Humphrey, HIA’s senior executive director of business compliance and contracting, explained that in addition to “fighting unlawful conduct and coercion” in the industry, the Building Code provides a number of measures to address “unproductive, anti-competitive clauses in enterprise agreements”, such as clauses that restrict the engagement of independent contractors.

He added: “The Code promotes a level playing field, ensuring that independent contracting businesses will be able to fairly compete for work on Commonwealth government-funded building projects.”

According to Mr Humphrey, the proposed changes will ensure that the Building Code will apply across the entire industry from September this year, “rather than allowing some industry participants to side-step the Code until the end of next year”.

Mr Humphrey highlighted that the Building Code and the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) work “hand in glove”.

He elaborated: “The Housing Industry Association has long supported the re-establishment of the ABCC to restore the rule of law to the commercial construction industry and strengthen penalties against unlawful industrial action and coercion.”

“HIA urges the Senate to expedite the proposed changes to enable the building industry to get on with the construction tax-payer funded building projects that will provide the infrastructure that Australian communities desperately need.”

[Related: ABCC restored to ‘rid industry of toxic practices’]

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Francesca Krakue

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