NSW building commissioner ‘needs teeth’

NSW Labor has called on the Berejiklian government to introduce legislation that ensures the state’s new building commissioner has the powers to make real change.

Opposition leader Jodi McKay argues the coalition needs to bring legislation to parliament to ensure the state’s inaugural building commissioner, David Chandler, has “teeth”.

“If we are to have a properly resourced building commissioner that can compel agencies and solve this situation then it needs to come before the parliament,” Ms McKay told reporters on Monday.

The Labor leader’s comments follow the first day of hearings at an inquiry into the regulation of building standards, quality and disputes in NSW on Monday.

Mascot Towers apartment owner Vijay Vital broke down during the hearing as he detailed his family’s devastation since being evacuated from the cracked Sydney apartment block in mid-June.

In a submission to the inquiry, the Mascot Towers Owners Corporation said the NSW government failed to establish a sufficiently tough regulatory framework for builders, certifiers and property developers.

The submission outlined Mascot Towers’ various defects and noted it was passed for occupation despite its faults.

Legislation was passed in October last year which gives the NSW government compliance and enforcement powers, the right to suspend or cancel a certifier’s registration and allows for substantial fines for body corporates who don’t have sufficient insurance.

But, Department of Customer Service executive John Tansey on Monday couldn’t say exactly when the new bill would come into effect.

Mr Chandler is due to start in his new role later this week.


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