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Government abandons engineered stone transition, creates more pain for home buyers and builders

Media release

Government abandons engineered stone transition, creates more pain for home buyers and builders

Media release
Builders, fabricators, installers and home-owners will all suffer from the Queensland Government’s decision to skip out on a transition period for engineered stone bench tops.

“A transition period for home building contracts signed before the engineered stone ban announcement was part of the position agreed at a recent meeting of State WHS Minister’s, to allow builders to finish off those contracts,” said Michael Roberts, Housing Industry Association Queensland Executive Director.

“Now, after Minister Grace Grace’s announcement over the weekend, Queensland won’t get a transition period, leaving builders and tradespeople to pick up the pieces and scramble to find solutions for homeowners who could face delays to completion, contract changes and extra costs,” Mr Roberts said.

“It’s not uncommon for home building contracts to be signed at least 12 months prior to construction commencement, and then there’s time taken to complete the build. It’s likely that confusion and supply of replacement bench top product will see new homes sitting waiting for bench top installation so that homeowners can move in. All involved will take a hit.

“The agreed transition would have allowed a period of six months after the ban takes place on 1 July 2024 for pre-existing contracts to be fulfilled. Builders in NSW and some other states will benefit from the transition, so there will also be cross-border issues and discrepancies.

“The Minister has seriously underestimated the impost this decision will put on the community and industry, and we will see this play out in the second half of the year.

“Thousands of building and sales contracts will need to be varied, and the consequence will be more cost for consumers, and significant administration time and burden for small business.

“HIA supports strong measures to manage the risks of respirable crystalline silica, but we believe that a safe and fair transition could have been achieved.

"Queensland was the last State to make it clear on the rules moving forward, but if the Minister always supported a complete ban as claimed, why did she wait until a long weekend to make the announcement when the announcement could have been made months ago?” Mr Roberts said.

For more information please contact:

Mike Roberts

Executive Director – Queensland
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