The ASI is concerned that the NSW Government’s draft Building Products (Safety) Bill 2017 neglects to include major provisions that ensure more responsible building supply in line with nationally-agreed first principles.

ASI Chief Executive, Tony Dixon said a key concern is that the value and importance of existing building industry initiatives to objectively shore up supply quality, such as industry third-party certification schemes, is not upheld in the draft Bill currently being considered by NSW Parliament.

“This is a core recommendation of the Senior Officers’ Group of the national Building Minister’s Forum (BMF) group of which the NSW Government is represented, as recently as September this year,” he said.

“It goes to the heart of Chain of Responsibility principles the BMF and the NSW Government agreed to that place ‘duty of care’ obligations on everyone in the building supply chain toward a legally enforceable regime of responsibility for compliance.

“That way, any weak links in a supply chain can be addressed to prevent non-conforming product being used on a construction site, heading off safety risks before they become real.

“The draft NSW Bill in its current form only contains provisions to act after a non-conforming product has been brought to the Government’s attention.”

He said that along with not imposing obligations on all participants in building product supply, the ASI is also disappointed that measures to strengthen building regulator’s powers, commended by the BMF, are missing from the proposed NSW legislation.

“As such, we urge the NSW Government to revisit the draft legislation to accord with the direction it has been integral to at a national level on the basis of making all participants in the supply chain accountable for meeting standards that align materials supply to building requirements, particularly on safety-critical items such as structural steelwork.

“Shoring up the supply chain in this manner is surely preferable than applying punitive measures after non-conforming product is already built-in or God forbid, a disaster occurs.”