On 23 June 2015, the Senate commenced a wide-ranging an inquiry into the use of ‘non-conforming’ building products (being products and materials that do not meet required standards). The inquiry was launched following a 2014 fire in a Victorian apartment complex involving the use of aluminium composite panelling. The due date for reporting has been extended several times, and the report is now due to be released on 25 May 2017. The long awaited and much anticipated report will address:
- The economic impact of non-conforming building products on the Australian building and construction industry
- The impact of non-conforming building products on:
- industry supply chains
- workplace safety
- costs passed on to customers, including any insurance costs
- the quality of Australian buildings.
- Potential regulatory reform to ensure that building products conform to Australian standards, including a consideration of:
- enforcement of existing regulations
- independent assessment systems
- screening of imported products
- penalties for use of non-conforming building products.
- The illegal importation of products containing asbestos.
We will be monitoring developments with interest, as the report is likely to have wide ranging implications for the building and construction industry. We will be reporting further once the report is released on 25 May 2017.