ACT Government to introduce Australian first licence scheme for property developers

Australian Greens

Tomorrow, the ACT Government will introduce legislation that will hold property developers responsible and accountable for residential developments they undertake.

Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction Rebecca Vassarotti said that delivering Australia’s first licensing and regulation scheme for property developers will tackle the problems of defects and compliance failures in residential property developments that appear before, during, and after construction.

“When Canberrans buy or rent a home, they should be able to demand the best from those who built them,” Minister Vassarotti said.

“This Australian-first move aims to give Canberrans the confidence that their homes will be built to the highest standards by trustworthy professionals. To put it simply, it’s all about quality.

“Over recent years, high profile cases of poor development have undermined the trust of Canberrans in the home building industry.

“Dodgy development choices by big businesses are estimated to have cost Canberrans more than $50 million each year.

“This law change will add property developers to the chain of accountability for building quality and safety.

“Our legislation will establish a Property Developer Registrar which will have strong powers to be able to take regulatory action against developers that do the wrong thing. It will compel them to fix problems and face fines or suspend or revoke their licence if they don’t rectify works accordingly.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the community and CFMEU for their dedicated advocacy on this crucial matter.

“I would also extend my appreciation to building and construction industry organizations, as well as representatives from owners’ corporations and strata managers, for their collaborative and constructive engagement over the past twelve months in the development of this scheme.

“The ACT Government takes accountability within the development industry seriously, and these decisive steps to enhance the regulation and monitoring of the industry will help to make sure that it operates at its best and upholds the highest standards.”

“We are dedicated to upholding accountability across the entire building supply chain, assuring Canberrans that their homes will be built to the highest standards and are built to last.

“Earlier this year, I introduced a new Engineers Registration Scheme, and going forward the Government will look to pursue other further regulatory changes such as trade licensing to complete the puzzle of building supply chain accountability.”

The Developer Licensing Bill is expected to be debated in the first half of 2024, with a transition period to follow before the licences will be required. The ACT Government will continue to engage with the local industry and other stakeholders to progress this reform, as part of a broader package of reforms for the building and construction industry.

/Public Release. View in full here.