In NSW Parliament on 7 May 2014, the following question was directed to the Minister for Fair Trading, the Hon Matthew Mason-Cox:
“What action is the Government taking to improve the regulation of home building?”
The following is a brief summary of some of the “as quoted” comments made by the Minister for Fair Trading in relation to the Home Building Amendment Bill 2014:
1. The reform package will include a wide range of amendments that carefully balance reducing red tape for industry while continuing to provide appropriate protections for consumers. It is
important that we get this balance right. The proposals will overhaul the way building defects are defined, require more transparency in building contracts and regulate progress payments
that may be charged to consumers.
2. The Government will replace the current definition of “structural defect” contained in the Home Building Regulation, which is a source of dispute due to a lack of clarity about its
application. Instead, a concept of “major defect”— and by that I do not mean the Hon. Steve Whan — will be inserted in the Act which will focus extended warranties on significant
problems that prevent the owner reasonably inhabiting or using a building or part of the building. The glass jaw is for all to see.
3. It also ensures that significant non-structural defects with fire safety systems and waterproofing will clearly be covered by extended warranty periods. The changes will also regulate
progress payments for the first time to reduce attempts by unscrupulous builders to circumvent caps on deposits and address risks of consumers being left out of pocket if a builder
becomes insolvent or disappears. This is just a taste of some of the more significant reforms in this broad update of home building laws. I very much look forward to introducing the
amending bill to this place.
This document is not legal advice and should not be relied upon. You should seek legal advice regarding any of the issues referred to.