Victorians, including those in Brimbank, who are building or renovating their homes, are covered with a new Building Legislation Amendment which will ensure consumers are covered by insurance before providing any money to a builder under a contract for domestic building work costing more than $16,000.
The new legislation follows the collapse of Porter Davis Homes and other domestic volume builders which exposed several concerning practices, including companies not taking out the required insurance before accepting deposits under a Major Domestic Building Contract.
New offences will be introduced into the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 – if a builder receives money under a Major Domestic Building Contract without holding the required domestic building insurance – with a penalty of up to $96,000 in place for an individual or $480,000 for a company.
The new offences are first in a suite of reforms to better protect Victorians building or renovating their home, including a review of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995, with consultation now open on measures to improve safeguards for consumers when they enter into a domestic building contract.
The Stage Two Report of the Expert Panel reviewing Victoria’s building system has also been released today, providing 14 recommendations to deliver greater accountability, strengthen compliance and enforcement and improve insurance coverage in the home building sector.
These reforms build on the improvements made to culture and governance at the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) under the guidance of new Chief Executive Officer Anna Cronin. A refresh to the regulator’s approach to improving consumer protections has been announced today, with the release of its new Regulatory Policy Statement.
Premier Jacinta Allan said , “We said we’d reform our building system to better protect Victorians, and that’s exactly what we’re doing – protecting Victorian families’ hard-earned savings as well as their dreams of building a house to call their own.”