In a week of a significant change for the Queensland Building and Construction Industry, on 24 August 2017, new laws were passed by the Queensland Parliament amending the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991.
The amendments proposed in the Building and Construction Legislation (Non-conforming Building Products – Chain of Responsibility and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2017 (Qld) (Bill) place duties on building supply chain participants in order to ensure building products used on Queensland projects are safe and fit for purpose. Amendments have also been made to the Building Act 1975, the Pest Management Act 2001, and the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002.
The above changes impose new responsibilities on those who design, manufacture, import, supply or install building products.
Under the new laws, parties in the building ‘chain of responsibility’ must:
- not make false or misleading statements about a building product’s performance;
- notify the QBCC of non-conforming building products; and
- report notifiable health and safety incidents, breaches and risks to the QBCC.
New compliance and enforcement powers have been given to the QBCC, including the power to:
- penalise those who breach their duties with respect to non-conforming building products;
- enter a place for the purposes of carrying out compliance inspections, previously limited to a building site;
- direct or take remedial action to make a place safe;
- recall building products in existence and/or associated with buildings before the date of commencement;
- take building products and samples for examination and testing; and
- suspend or cancel a building contractor’s licence or take other disciplinary action if a QBCC licensee has caused death or serious injury or is causing serious risk to health and safety on a building site (please note that this power is only intended to apply to acts or ommissions after the commencement of the new laws).
Once operative, the new laws will apply to QBCC investigations that are not finished at the date of commencement. Presently, the Bill as passed, has not yet commenced.
Sourced from www.mondaq.com/australia/