The ASI has called for industries supplying into local building and construction to maintain the focus on strengthening schemes aimed at weeding out faulty building products currently flooding not only the housing market, but all facets of construction. Following the recent Government Roundtable meeting convened by the Parliamentary Secretary for Industry, the Hon Bob Baldwin MP, ASI Chief Executive Don McDonald stated that it is important to realise that non-compliant product is affecting all aspects of construction including infrastructure projects, industrial and commercial buildings and the resources sector, not just housing. “Unscrupulous suppliers compromise standards by chasing lowest cost. This non-level playing field is unfair, un-Australian and costing local jobs,” he said. The issue became more prominent recently with the release of a landmark Australian Industry Group study which reported most sectors in the building supply chain encountering sub-standard product with the local steel supply chain reporting the highest percentage of non-compliant product (97 percent). “As one of the most affected sectors, the Australian steel industry has introduced a dedicated national compliance scheme for structural steelwork based on principles of independent assessment and risk levels appropriate to the type of construction,” he said. “This scheme targets all types of construction, including large civic centres, industrial warehouses, multilevel buildings and major infrastructure as these categories have the potential for very serious consequences for worker and public safety. “In addition to safety and durability aspects, the building and construction industry is becoming aware of the cost of rework, disruption and commercial risk associated with non-compliance.” He said the Australian steelwork scheme is similar to what has been mandated by legislation across all of Europe and the UK where structural steelwork is declared a safety item. Using industry-led compliance schemes was a strong recommendation in the recently released Australasian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC) Guide on building product quality to which the ASI contributed. We call on a ‘whole of Government’ approach to this important issue and ask all State and Federal Governments to support the APCC guidelines and industry led compliance schemes.