CONSTRUCTION CRISIS: Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace has called for Queensland Housing Minister Mick de Brenni to resign over the professional indemnity crisis wich he said had the potential to destroy the state's building industry.
CONSTRUCTION CRISIS: Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace has called for Queensland Housing Minister Mick de Brenni to resign over the professional indemnity crisis wich he said had the potential to destroy the state's building industry. John McCutcheon

MP claims construction industry on verge of collapse

THE Queensland construction industry was on the edge of a cliff and would begin to progressively collapse from the start of July, according to a Sunshine Coast federal MP who has called on the state's Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni to resign.

Former builder and construction sector barrister Andrew Wallace, the Member for Fisher, said without the provision of an exemption for flammable cladding professional indemnity insurers would withdraw from the market, leaving private building certifiers unable to continue with work critical to the industry's function.

Mr Wallace has demanded the Minister, Mick de Brenni, publicly release a PwC report into the crisis tabled at an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday of the Ministerial Construction Council.

He said his advice was that from July 2 insurers would no longer be writing the professional indemnity policies certifiers required as a condition of their Queensland Building and Construction and would be forced to progressively drop out of the industry as existing cover expired.

Mr Wallace said about a third of 300 private certifiers in the state would be affected from July 2.

Mr de Brenni did not directly respond to questions put by the Sunshine Coast Daily relating to the MP's concerns.

"We are in lock step with industry and home owners to deliver a solution that works for all Queenslanders," he said in a statement.

"No formal decision was made by Government at yesterday's Ministerial Construction Council Meeting.

"Pending the formal advice of industry leaders, and when the full extent of the facts and options are clear and agreed, I will happily release the full report and issue a statement outlining our approach.

"The Queensland Government is taking the advice of industry, not politicians."

 Mr Wallace said the bulk of certification work was done for housing where the cladding issue did not apply.

What he proposed was an exemption in relation to cladding with all acts of error and omission still required to be covered.

Mr Wallace said it was easy though to find all fault in the industry in professional indemnity and certifiers when regulators had been "asleep at the wheel".

He has called for compulsory ongoing professional development for the construction industry as applied to other sectors to improve standards and for a tougher enforcement of the National Construction Code.

Mr Wallace has also questioned why Mr de Brenni had failed to implement any of the 122 recommendations he had made in a 2014 report commissioned by the then LNP Newman government.


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