The Association of Professional Engineers Australia (part of Professionals Australia) today said the passage of a Bill for the registration of engineers in the NSW Parliament was a big leap forward in recognising and respecting the role of engineers in the community.
The engineer registration scheme was last night added to the Design & Building Practitioners Bill and passed in the NSW Upper House, ushering in a system that will see engineers who oversee engineering work registered across most engineering sectors.
Where the original Bill only covered the building sector, after months of negotiation on behalf of the profession by APEA, it now includes including civil, structural, mechanical, fire safety and electrical engineers with others to follow via regulation.
CEO Gordon Brock said APEA had worked on this reform for over five years and was proud of its role in securing this reform on behalf of every engineer in the state.
“A professional engineer registration scheme is long overdue in NSW and has been at the centre of our Engineering a Better Future campaign,” said Mr Brock.
“The original legislation narrowed the scope of registration to the building sector, but we successfully argued that the community wanted a comprehensive response.
“This ends the situation where anyone in NSW could call themselves an engineer and brings the state into line with Queensland and Victoria, where registration of engineers is in place.”
Mr Brock said engineers are key drivers of the state’s future, building our cities and driving our economy and that role was now better recognised.
“A large share of our state wealth hinges on the contribution of our engineers, and their ability to use new ideas, innovation and technology.
“The engineering profession has been undervalued for too long with too many non-engineers are working in jobs that should be performed by professional engineers.
“The over-reliance on non-engineers in project management and decision-making leads to poor project scope, design and delivery, at great cost to the community.
“With a huge amount of engineering work required and NSW’s growing infrastructure needs, this is a critical reform to make sure investment in infrastructure delivers the best outcome.”
Mr Brock thanked all sides of politics but said Labor had played the critical role in ensuring the Bill included a registration system that covered all engineers.
The Opposition recognised APEA’s role in helping develop the 31 amendments to the Bill which effectively insert engineer registration into the building reform legislation.
Mr Brock said APEA’s attention would now turn to other states and territories, with the ACT Government committed to introducing a scheme consistent with the Victorian Bill and other states at various stage of progressing the reform.
“Ultimately we need nationally consistent legislation in every state and territory in Australia so that engineers’ role in our community is properly recognised and respected once and for all.”