The Queensland Government has proposed reforms intended to help both homeowners and the building industry by making it safer and more transparent when it comes to installing solar panels, greywater and holding tanks.
The Building and Other Legislation Amendment Bill amendments aim to ensure Queensland continues to have a robust building regulatory framework, underpinning the state’s strong licensing, security of payment and financial sustainability requirements, which protect tradies, contractors and consumers.
Queensland Minister for Public Works, Mick de Brenni, said reforms introduced to Parliament today aimed to reinforce the rights of homeowners as well as enhance the building industry’s regulatory framework.
Mr de Brenni said amendments relating to home solar panels, greywater and holding tanks sought to reflect contemporary expectations about the environmental sustainability and efficiency of buildings.
“The Bill fixes the uncertainty around the application of the ‘ban the banners’ provisions, protecting homeowners from developer covenants restricting where solar panels can be placed,” Mr de Brenni said.
“This is a further step in allowing Queenslanders to play their part in achieving our renewable energy ambitions and addressing climate change.
“Importantly, it supports more jobs in highly skilled areas like renewables.”
It will also clarify licensing requirements for head contractors and building certifiers, as well as create additional avenues for appeal against regulatory decisions.
Mr de Brenni said the Bill will support consumers who make a complaint about a building industry licensee by affording them the right to information about the complaint.
“This is an important step to ensuring the framework for regulating construction is transparent and will reinforce accountability in decision making by making reasons for decisions available,” Mr de Brenni said.
“Under the existing regulatory framework, consumers and licensees have had to rely on the sometimes expensive and unwieldy process to access information through an RTI process but I think that information should be available to people upfront.
“These provisions recognise people are entitled to reasons of how and why decisions are made by the regulator.”
Mr de Brenni said the proposed legislation will respond to community expectations that industry regulators should always act to protect public safety.
“Currently, the QBCC may immediately suspend a licence in response to serious financial or safety risks to other licensees, their employees, consumers, and suppliers of building materials or services but not to the general public,” Mr de Brenni said.
“Extending these protections to include any person will empower the QBCC to effectively respond to risks of serious harm and promote public safety.”