The Victorian construction sector has been embroiled in controversies related to residential apartment defects and combustible cladding, leading to negative consequences for consumers, the building industry, and the Victorian Government.

To address these issues, the Victorian Government has initiated a thorough review of its building regulations with the goal of implementing reforms. These reforms are intended to safeguard consumers and enhance overall standards in the building industry.

The Victorian Government has recently introduced the Victorian Building Legislation Amendment Bill 2023, which proposes amendments to the Building Act 1993, Architects Act 1991, and other related laws. The anticipated effective date for the proposed changes is 1 February 2024, if not earlier.

Key aspects of the Bill include:

  1. Improved oversight of building construction: The appointment of a State Building Surveyor as the primary source of technical expertise for building standards.
  2. Increased accountability for construction industry participants: This involves education initiatives and the establishment of registration requirements for building and design consultants.
  3. Enhanced consumer confidence: The introduction of a Building Monitor that requires builders to provide more information about their work.

Additional provisions in the Bill include assigning the final inspection process before granting an Occupation Certificate to a Council Building Surveyor for certain classes of buildings. Developers will also be required to provide an Approved Building Manual to Owners and Owner Corporations upon completion of construction, containing design and construction information for maintenance and building management.

Overall, these legislative amendments aim to instill greater consumer confidence by implementing stronger safeguards and quality standards for building projects. They also seek to hold building practitioners, including designers, engineers, and other stakeholders, accountable for improved building systems.

If you are concerned about whether your contracts and processes align with the requirements outlined in the Bill, contact Nevile & Co. today to discuss your options.

Disclaimer: This publication contains comments of a general and introductory nature only and is provided as an information service. It is not intended to be relied upon as, nor is it a substitute for specific professional legal advice. You should always speak to us and obtain legal advice before taking any action relating to matters raised in this publication.