The Nationals Member for Morwell, Martin Cameron, has urged the Andrews Government to push through amendments to the Building Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 as a matter of priority.
Mr Cameron spoke in favour of a Reasoned Amendment to the Building Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 in Parliament last week and said reforms were necessary to strengthen the building permit process and reshape the regulatory landscape in Victoria with a key focus on consumer protection.
He said the move to strengthen the role of the State Building Surveyor (SBS) by enshrining it in legislation would mean greater protections for homeowners, particularly in the Latrobe Valley where construction is booming but housing is still scarce.
“In towns like Churchill, Yallourn North, Glengarry, Tyers, Morwell, Moe and Traralgon – and indeed right across the Valley – there are brand-new subdivisions with a high volume of houses being built,” Mr Cameron said.
“But unfortunately, there is a chronic shortage of surveyors in the area and they are very hard to come by, which means corners are being cut, people are waiting longer to get into their homes and the housing crisis is being exacerbated.
“When I was a plumber we would book an inspection and wait for the inspector to arrive and check our drains and make sure the work was up to standard, but due to a shortage of inspectors they often didn’t show up.
“Because of that, the underground works that went under slabs were not checked by an inspector; they were just relying on the plumber to certify their own drainage works.”
Mr Cameron said it was vital the amendments to the Building Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 be pushed through to ensure the best outcomes for homeowners across the Valley.
“We need safeguards for homeowners, particularly when the cost-of-living means people are already struggling to afford housing,” he said.
“People need to be assured when they’re building a house that the system will support the construction of safe, compliant and durable homes that will stand the test of time.”