The NSW Government’s appointment of David Chandler OAM as NSW Building Commissioner was welcomed by the local government sector.
Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Cr Linda Scott said the long-awaited appointment was a solid move towards establishing a stronger regulatory framework for the building industry, and tighter and more effective regulation of private certifiers.
“We congratulate Mr Chandler – who has more than 40 years’ industry experience – and look forward to working with him to improve planning outcomes, building safety and consumer satisfaction for the people of NSW,” Cr Scott said.
“He will be responsible for the investigation and disciplinary action for misconduct in the building industry, while overseeing the end-to-end licensing and auditing across the industry.
“Councils have long advocated for a stronger regulatory framework for the building industry and we hope today’s (August 2 2019) appointment will be fully resourced and supported by a team of staff with relevant building experience.
“There have been numerous reviews of the building regulation system dating back more than a decade, and serious concerns – not only within the government sector but also by other industry peak bodies – have been documented over this time.
“The most recent review – the Shergold and Weir report – found there had been almost no effective regulatory oversight of the commercial building industry by regulators, stating those involved in high-rise construction were ‘left largely to their own devices’.
“In our recent submission to the NSW Government’s Building Stronger Foundations discussion paper, we call for comprehensive action to address issues with the building sector.
“As well as appointing a building commissioner, we are calling for measures to address concerns about the independence of private certifiers and a commitment to annual audits. Administrative and expert staff to support the building commissioner in this new role are also critical.
“Today’s (August 2 2019) appointment is a positive step towards addressing our concerns.”