Wow! What a busy week it has been. Now that the smoke has cleared, the fire risk has reduced and the Legislative Assembly resumed sittings, the ACT Government has been very busy. And it feels like it will continue at this pace all the way until the October 2020 ACT elections.
The Building Regulatory Advisory Committee (BRAC) met this week. The immediate priorities of the BRAC include finalising the Builders Code of Practice, reviewing Alternative Dispute Resolution processes, and monitoring the ongoing problems obtaining Professional Indemnity insurance.
In the Legislative Assembly this week, the Chief Minister was questioned about the $14 million cuts to apprentice funding and many other VET qualifications. The Attorney General also introduced laws further rental reforms.
Safety has been a major focus this week:
- Safety will remain a priority for the residential sector until the sector addresses safety issues highlighted in the worst possible way this year. Members should expect to see greater audit and enforcement activity from the ACT Government – an understandable and necessary response from Government to two fatalities in the sector within a month.
- Government announced $8.7 million of funding to address safety, and
- Following the 2016 workplace death at the University of Canberra Hospital, a crane driver has pleaded guilty to one charge of reckless conduct exposing people to serious injury or death - a category one offence under the Work Health Safety Act 2011.
On a more positive note, on Wednesday the MBA and many of our members attended the inaugural Chief Engineers Innovation Forum. The forum discussed digital transformation within the design, construction and management of our buildings and infrastructure. This was followed up by the quarterly roundtable discussions with Major Projects Canberra with the commercial and civil sectors.
Our review of a number of Territory Plan variations is ongoing. Submissions for DV368 (affecting the City and Gateway corridor) and DV369 (Living Infrastructure) are due 28 February.