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Faulty building products major focus of govt roundtable

27 November, 2014

The Federal Government has made moves to focus attention on the problem of poor building product compliance, which is being increasingly experienced by builders and home owners.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) welcomed the renewed attention given to the issue.

Attending the recent Industry Roundtable convened by Bob Baldwin, Parliamentary Secretary for Industry, HIA put forward the concerns of home builders, manufacturers and product suppliers at the lack of coordination and oversight in relation to building product compliance.

"The supply chain for building products and materials should provide certainty to home builders and contractors that the products on the shelf are fit for purpose," said HIA building spokesperson, Kristin Brookfield.

"By ensuring that the products available for sale meet the right standards, the risk to builders, contractors and home owners can be minimised."

"Good or bad" verdict being left to the consumer

Brookfield said the problem with the current building product supply chain in Australia for both locally made and imported products, is it leaves the decision about whether a product is good or bad in the hands of the "last person standing – the consumer".

"This shouldn't be the case. The responsibility for making sure products comply should rest with the manufacturers, suppliers and importers," Brookfield said.

"They should be responsible for proving to the buyer that their products are fit for purpose and be willing to back up their products with ongoing after-sales support.

"This is an increasing problem for the whole building industry, and no one wants to see a significant or catastrophic failure occur.

"It's time that all levels of government worked together to seriously address the issue.

"Mr Baldwin is to be congratulated on bringing this issue to the fore, and we look forward to working with the government on ways to ensure that everyone in the supply chain shares responsibility and that ultimately consumers can have confidence in the homes we build."

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Hayrick | Friday, November 28, 2014, 11:02 AM
The problem in the building Industry is that control is too diverse. Builders often are not allowed to specify a product, this is done by the Client or his professional advisors (Architect and Project Managers). The Industry is overflowing with undercapitalised suppliers and Builders. Fairer contracts that clearly place obligations on the specifiers/clients and the builders would be a good start together with a direction that no person or Company be allowed to offer any product to the public in open market that is not fully guaranteed by the offereror (ie Builder or Developer). We should be careful not to limit innovation for those prepared to take the risk but such risk should not be imposed on the Builder (unless the Builder is the owner). I agree supply chain SHOULD provide certainty to builders but unfortunately everyone wants to write their own contracts including Insurance Companies and legislators let mobs rule.