Regulations Failing Public

Over the last couple of months there have been a couple of separate News Items, which are really connected.

Excavation Collapse Puts House On Edge!

The photo shows a house hanging over the edge of an excavation in a Melbourne suburb.

This in spite of the builders excavation proposals being approved by a Building Surveyor.

How Did This Happen?

Well you don’t need to do much more than read the following summary of the Auditor General’s Report on Victoria’s Consumer Protection Framework for Building Construction published in May this year.

This audit examined the performance of the Victorian Building Authority, the Building Practitioners Board, Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) and the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority as they provide functions key to building regulation and to the consumer protection framework in domestic building.

I found that the existing framework does not adequately protect consumers and that there is a pressing need to improve consumer understanding of the system.

The registration system does not ensure that the only practitioners who are registered are qualified, competent and of good character and the disciplinary system is not protecting consumers, as current sanctions are ineffective in deterring practitioner misconduct.

CAV’s conciliation and dispute resolution functions provide only limited consumer protection because it cannot compel parties to conciliate or enforce compliance with conciliation outcomes.

Domestic building insurance is widely misunderstood, provides only limited protection for consumers and is significantly more costly than it needs to be.

The Italics are a direct quote, although I have underlined some of the more significant parts.


Other States

Don’t think because you live in other states you are going to be safe. The customer protection isn’t too different around Australia.


One of the best protections, to quote the report is for you “to improve (your) consumer understanding of the system”.