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$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Developer licensing legislation introduced

Media release

Developer licensing legislation introduced

Media release
The introduction of legislation today to create a developer licensing scheme in the ACT attempts to hold developers accountable for the work they do, however, there are several important details to be resolved.

“HIA acknowledges the need for accountability in the development and construction sector, though there is a balance to be struck between ensuring that consumers are protected and that businesses are not unduly hindered in addressing the critical housing shortage within the Territory,” said Greg Weller, HIA Executive Director ACT/Southern NSW.

“As the draft legislation stands, it casts the net incredibly wide as to who is deemed a developer. It is our understanding that there are to be limitations created at a later date through Regulation, however, while this detail is not known there is great deal of uncertainty as to who is covered and who is not.

“The ACT has a very effective builders licensing regime, which coupled with Builders Warranty Insurance, provides a functioning system that protects consumers in the event of non-completion or defects for all dwellings up to three stories. To overlay this with an additional licensing scheme, will do little to increase accountability or consumer protection, but add additional costs and red tape to building.”

Alongside the developer licensing proposal, separate legislation also proposes to create a ‘reverse onus of proof’ for builders and developers when in litigation.

“Rather than requiring the person or group pursuing an action to establish that the builder or developer has caused the alleged problem, this effectively requires they prove their innocence. In many circumstances this could be impossible, with a builder having no control over what happens after handover.

“This is a fundamental shift from one of our basic principles of law, that you are innocent until proven guilty.

HIA remains committed to working with the Government on sensible reforms as the legislation progresses through the Legislative Assembly,” concluded Mr Weller.

For more information please contact:

Greg Weller

Executive Director - ACT/Southern NSW
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