Warren Lynam

QBCC reforms give new powers to building inspectors

NEW construction industry laws which have come into effect will see increased disciplinary powers for the regulator.

Queensland Building and Construction Commission reforms will see three-year licence renewals, mandatory mediation for disputes and increased disciplinary powers for the industry regulator.

QBCC commissioner Steve Griffin said the reforms would improve the industry for home owners, contractors and suppliers as well as increase protection and help to produce better dispute outcomes.

A CFMEU representative could not be reached for comment on the changes.

Under the changes, parties in a domestic building dispute will have to attend mediation within the QBCC before they can take their matter to the courts.

"I believe this change will reduce the time and money spent by home owners and licensees in seeking a resolution to their dispute and also decrease the cases heard in QCAT," Mr Griffin said.

Mr Griffin said the commission will also receive more disciplinary powers against head contractors who do not pay subcontractors - especially head contractors who are found to have repeatedly failed to pay subcontractors.

QBCC building inspectors will have increased powers for investigating offences, including the ability to request documents for obtaining information such as birth dates of suspected offenders.

"This will improve evidence gathering for offences such as unlicensed contracting, breaches of financial requirements and when phoenix operators are working behind licensed building companies."