Qld Govt dumps board of key regulator
THE Queensland Government has dumped the board of the state's construction regulator as it moves to carry out major reform in the sector.
Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said it was clear the Queensland Building and Construction Commission had not been meeting community expectations for a long time.
The Minister said the new board would be charged with meaningful reform of the QBCC.
"Every day I get complaints from both licensees and homeowners about poor customer service, convoluted processes and a lack of transparent practices,” Mr de Brenni said.
"In his six months in the role, Commissioner Brett Bassett has started real progress on an ambitious agenda for reform. To get the job done he needs a board that is willing to engage in reform.
"I have confidence that the Board we have appointed has the right mix of skills to transform the fledgling regulator.”
Mr de Brenni said he had met the new Board members and clearly outlined his expectations.
"I've been clear with the new Board members about the three priorities I see for reform,” he said.
"The Board needs to back in the work of the Commissioner to make sure that internal redesign of the QBCC achieves meaningful improvements in service delivery and culture.
"They need to restore the trust and confidence in the QBCC with home owners, licensees and the community.
"And crucially I expect them to focus on implementation of Government reforms developed through the Building Plan discussion paper announced in Parliament this week.”
Mr de Brenni said that the recent failures of the QBCC have been well documented. A 2012 Parliamentary Committee into the QBCC's predecessor reported that: "Consumers and licensees report that they regularly receive incorrect and inconsistent advice and are often treated with disrespect. The Committee has received consistent reports of harassment, intimidation and bullying.”
Mr de Brenni said that while the organisation has a new name, very little else seems to have changed.
"People feel let down by the QBCC,” he said.
"They feel like they are treated like numbers rather than real people.
"The new Board has to remember that when someone has dealings with the QBCC usually either their livelihood or their home is on the line in some way.
"While the QBCC needs to be a firm and unimpeachable regulator, it can still have consideration for the very human and stressful circumstances people find themselves in.
"I have been clear with the incoming board, we need to see real, meaningful change.”
Mr de Brenni said he was confident in the new Board's ability to deliver on the needed reforms.
"The new Queensland Building and Construction Board has a great mix of skills and experience.
"Mr Dick Williams, the new Board chair, had extensive experience as a company director and a director across a range of industries,” he said.
"Mr Williams is well known and has been around the construction industry a long time and has an extensive experience in a regulatory setting.
"He will be ably assisted by Ms Jennifer Robertson, an experienced construction lawyer who is continuing on as co-chair.”
"As Minister I have been committed to seeing more women take on leadership roles in the construction industry and this is reflected in the make-up of the QBC Board with women taking up four of the seven positions.”
The new Queensland Building and Construction Board will meet for the first time on December 16.
The Queensland Building and Construction Board:
Dick Williams (Chairperson); Jennifer Robertson (Deputy Chairperson); Lesley Anderson; Leeanne Bond; Michelle James; Brett Schmiming; Robert Schwarten