Proposed reforms targeting the NSW construction crisis have been dismissed by political opponents who say they will let “dodgy developers stay in business”.
NSW Regulation Minister Kevin Anderson outlined the reforms on Tuesday, including a star rating system to identify and block high-risk builders with bad track records.
Other proposed reforms cover digital record keeping, procurement standards and industry skill development.
“These reforms are a complete game changer for consumers, the government and the building industry as a whole,” Mr Anderson said in a statement.
But Greens MP David Shoebridge, who chairs an ongoing NSW parliamentary inquiry into building standards, dismissed the proposals.
“If a developer is worthy of only one star they should not be in business,” he said in a statement.
“Governments are meant to set and enforce standards and ensure homes are safe to live in, not produce a star rating system that lets dodgy developers stay in business.
“At best the effect of this star rating system will be to make unsafe buildings cheaper and pass the risk on to those who can least afford it.”
The reforms are tied up in the contentious Design and Building Practitioners Bill.
The bill has been blocked in a previous form by Mr Shoebridge and the Labor opposition, who voiced concerns at the time about the bill being full of “empty promises”.
Opposition leader Jodi McKay said there was no point beefing up protections if there were no “boots on the ground” to enforce them.
“If this is about making it better for home owners and those who live in high-rise residential buildings, we are all supportive of that,” she told reporters on Tuesday.
“But you have to remember the building commissioner, even though they’re saying he has more powers, he has no staff.”
Building commissioner David Chandler said the proposals would “protect consumers from major defects”.
Minister Anderson urged Labor and the Greens to pass the reforms, which will be debated in the upper house later in February.
“We are asking the opposition and the cross bench to put consumers ahead of politics and let us get on with the building reforms,” he said.
“Every day these reforms are delayed is another another day home owners go without the necessary protections.”
The newly-built Opal Tower block in Sydney Olympic Park was evacuated after cracks discovered in the building sparked fears it could collapse.
Those living in Mascot Towers had to leave due to cracking in the primary support structure and facade.