In Legal Affairs

New South Wales Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean

Dodgy Certifiers On Notice With New Laws

Victor P Taffa

Conflicts of interest between building certifiers and developers will be stamped out by tougher regulations being proposed in New South Wales.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said an options paper is being released which sets out new ways of improving transparency around the appointment of certifiers.

“It’s ridiculous that developers can choose their own certifiers.” Minister Kean said.

“This year alone, the Building Professionals Board (BPB) has received 163 complaints about certifiers, and the New South Wales public expects better.”

“Purchasing a home can be stressful enough, without families having to worry about whether they’re being taken for a ride by dodgy developers and certifiers.” Minister Kean said.

Minister Kean said it became clear that action was needed to protect New South Wales home buyers, after Labor botched the privatisation of certifiers.

“I’m proposing reforms to strengthen contract requirements and increase regulatory oversight.” Minister Kean said.

“Labor created a mess that is hurting families all over New South Wales, and we are cleaning it up.”

Options paper is seeking feedback on 3 methods for appointing certifiers that will increase certifier independence:

  • Rotation scheme, where 3 randomly-selected certifiers will be available for a developer to choose from;
  • Cab rank scheme, where a certifier would be allocated on a ‘next in line’ basis;
  • Time limit scheme, requiring certifiers to take a 3-year break from a client after a certain period.

“Last month, I released an exposure Bill to toughen licensing laws for certifiers, with strong enforcement powers for Fair Trading to get to the bottom of complaints.” Minister Kean said.

“This is about giving consumers the confidence to buy their first home and know their hard-earned cash is paying for a safe and properly certified building.”

Improving Certifier Independence Options Paper is open to public submissions for 4 weeks.


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