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$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Defending our industry

Defending our industry

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2022 was a difficult year for many, but HIA’s advocacy wheels kept on turning to support home builders and the housing industry.

Kristin Brookfield

Deputy Managing Director

2020 and 2021 may well become known as the ‘COVID years’, remembered for their widespread disruption to daily life, work, travel and global supply chains. In 2022, mandatory health orders and extensive lockdowns became a thing of the past, but the year still had its share of challenges. 

For the residential building industry, the impact of material price increases, supply chain issues, trade shortages and rising interest rates on consumer sentiment continued. Builders and other professionals had the added pressure of understanding and preparing for the extensive changes under the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022, due to take effect 1 May 2023.

HIA worked tirelessly, in every state and nationally, to support members through the challenges, communicating upcoming changes, and responding to an array of government reforms and programs aimed at new housing. 

Rising interest rates are affecting the residential housing industry
HIA represents the views of our members

National agenda

  • Election imperatives for the federal government

2022 saw a changing of the guard with the Australian Labor Party (ALP), headed by Anthony Albanese, forming government. Going into the election, HIA’s main priority was to retain a Housing Minister and get them in Cabinet. With the appointment of  Collins, this was achieved. The new Ministry includes many already known to HIA in portfolios relevant to housing, with each also included in Cabinet. 
Since the election, the federal government has committed to creating Housing Australia, taking up HIA’s full list of housing imperatives supporting home ownership, social housing and rental housing.  HIA was also invited to be part of the national Housing Accord.

  • Thousands educated on NCC

In the lead up to the introduction of building code changes, HIA successfully held a nation-wide tailored seminar series explaining what would take effect – and importantly, when – for industry. Thousands took up the opportunity and many more tuned into recorded webinars post-event. 

  • Work health and safety

2022 saw another busy year of WHS reform, with attention focused on changes to the Model WHS laws, as well as on crystalline silica and psychological health. HIA made it a priority to engage with regulators, pursuing key concerns, and provided detailed submissions to achieve helpful outcomes for HIA members. 

  • Jobs and skills

HIA hosted a housing roundtable for the federal Housing Minister prior to the Jobs and Skills Summit and provided submissions on the legislation changes arising from the summit.

The impact of material prices is increading
Housing Australia aims to increase the supply of affordable housing

Local approach for national impact

Much of HIA’s advocacy work happens on a state and territory basis to improve industry’s business outcomes, as well as gain support for streamlined housing delivery in all forms. Here’s an overview of how the Association was in your corner in your region throughout the year.

Australian Capital Territory

  • Successfully lobbied for amendments to regulations on silica in construction, resulting in a more practical approach and better safety outcomes
  • Called for a committee inquiry into the draft Urban Forest Bill and appeared before the committee in October 2022, championing improvements for tree management on privately leased land
  • Under the Territory Plan Variation 369, relating to mandatory tree canopy coverage for single residential and multi-unit developments, HIA successfully lobbied for a sensible transition timeframe for new blocks
  • Made submissions to the ACT Government on the Automatic Mutual Recognition scheme, draft Planning Bill, NCC 2022, the registration of engineers and WorkSafe ACT’s Prosecutions Review.

Hunter

  • HIA made submissions and held meetings with the Department of Planning and Environment and local councils to advocate for improvements to the planning system, such as the timely delivery of registered land and the efficient processing of development approvals
  • Participated in the Hunter Urban Development Program committee, advocating for the local residential building community with regards to imminent regional plans.

New South Wales

  • Supported replacing the upfront stamp duty for first home buyers with an annual property tax to help first home buyers achieve their home ownership dream
  • Squashed a proposal to extend statutory warranties for major defects to 10 years under the Home Building Act review 
  • Encouraged the NSW Department of Planning to introduce a Regional Housing Taskforce that would provide more targeted assistance for regional planning
  • Successfully lobbied against the introduction of an unworkable new embodied emissions target for new houses
  • Lobbied for six amendments to the Codes SEPP, which will significantly increase the number of projects that can use the fast-track pathway instead of a full DA
  • Advocated for attached dwelling (duplex) warranty premiums to be the same for Torrens and Strata title sub-divisions
  • Achieved Class 2 building legislation changes to ensure new entrants and low-rise builders can access tailored licensing requirements for low-rise and high-rise builders.
HIA submissions achieve helpful outcomes for members
HIA successfully held a nation-wide tailored seminar series

Northern Territory

  • Attended a round table with the federal Minister for Jobs and Skills about the industry’s role – and challenges – in contributing to the Territory’s ambitious target to become a $40 billion economy by 2030
  • Obtained funding for a trainer/mentor to deliver Certificate I in Construction to disadvantaged youth at the Tivendale facility and Don Dale Centre throughout 2022 and 2023
  • Opened conversations with Catholic Education to partner with HIA to implement Certificate I in Construction VET in schools
  • Participated in the Land Development committee and summitted recommendations to the NT Government to reduce red tape for Das and land release.
    Worked closely with the NT Government to manage the adoption of NCC 2022 in the Territory and adopt other building reforms for commercial buildings.

South Australia

  • Gained an 18-month delay for the introduction of a mandatory Certificate of Occupancy
  • Negotiated for the South Australian Return to Work levy to be capped at two per cent
  • Successfully called for a review into the building works supervising licensing registration conditions
  • Won funding for apprentice driver training, apprentice stage completion and tool allowance
  • Gained a review into supervisor guidelines
  • Set out HIA’s election imperatives to guide the new state government in supporting the housing industry.

Queensland

  • With support from industry partners, HIA successfully defeated a new land tax that would negatively impact housing availability in the state
  • Attended the Premier’s Housing Roundtable and Housing Summit calling for reforms to streamline housing approvals and speed up land supply
  • Gained long sought planning reforms to allow granny flats to be rented to provide an affordable housing solution
  • Advocated for a Queensland transition period for NCC 2022 that provides sufficient time for the housing industry to understand the changes and work with customers
  • Worked with the Queensland Government to review the QBCC operations, along with a home warranty review and ongoing input on the operation of project trust accounts 
  • Supported the Townsville Enterprise application for TNQ Designated Area Migration Agreement to provide new migration pathways in North Queensland in an effort to address skill shortages
  • Met with government ministers to discuss challenges to growth and investment in North Queensland and provide feedback on the HWIS review
  • Participated on the Cairns Regional Council Planning and Development Reference group regarding challenges towards planning review and growth in the region
  • Successfully implemented two HIA-CSQ Trade Ready programs to encourage indigenous pathways into the industry.
HIA works tirelessly to support members
Be prepared for NCC changes starting from 1 May

Tasmania

  • Delayed the adoption of the livable housing provisions until October 2024 and the 7-star energy efficiency changes, which will now be considered during NCC 2025 discussions
  • Provided significant input to the effective use of the PlanBuild Portal, Tasmania’s new single online planning lodgement system
  • Assisted the Tasmanian Government with the development of a suite of building reforms that strike a balance between consumer protection, affordability and business growth 
  • Influenced discussions relating to the Greater Hobart Plan, Tasmanian planning policies and the infrastructure roll out, ensuring affordable housing is a priority, planning is simplified, and a more strategic approach is taken toward land supply.

Victoria

  • Successfully lobbied to have a proposed social and affordable housing tax shelved, providing the Victorian Government with alternative options to boost affordable housing supply without simply taxing new home buyers
  • Obtained a delay in key regulations – including registration and licensing of trades and continuing professional development – to assist industry in the aftermath of COVID-19
  • Gained key concessions on the new windfall gains tax to reduce the burden on industry
  • Gained an expansion of the Victorian Government’s Shared Equity Scheme to assist more Victorians enter home ownership
  • Successfully negotiated for solar panel rebates to be expanded to new homes under construction.

Western Australia

  • Delayed the adoption of NCC 2022 to May 2025 for detached residential dwellings and the implementation of NCC 2022 by volume to provide greater clarity to builders
  • Repealed legislation to remove the need for dry floor waste within wet areas
  • Advocated for clearer definitions regarding medium density housing in the planning system, leading to better outcomes for industry
  • Worked with local government to implement a fast-track approval scheme
  • Introduced a compliance forum to highlight general building issues and grow a positive relationship with DMIRS.

Published on 18 January 2023

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