LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – About 16 members of the public including residential builders and home owners and builders attended the presentation of the Residential Building Cover review at Deloittes, the company requested to conduct the review.
The representative from Deloittes halted the presentation halfway through when it became apparent the results of the review did not actually answer any of the concerns of the residential builders present.
The results of the review presented seemed to be in our opinion mainly a review of the financial viability of the Master Builders Association fidelity fund.
Ongoing questions builders have raised previously were not answered and in fact more questions are now raised. We were advised at the meeting that the “independent” review panel attended an information session with Master Builders during the review process.
This courtesy was not extended to any residential builders or members of committees formed by residential builders since the introduction of the Residential Building Cover.
This again raises the question, who is driving this independent review as it seems to be one-sided without any opportunity for representation of residential builders?
One thing the review has achieved is to confirm that with the introduction of the Residential Building Cover builders and consumers alike have had a 10 year warranty insurance removed and a last resort fund introduced that only activates under the construction period and only if the builder becomes insolvent, walks off the job, loses their licence or dies.
At the RBC review meeting builders again put forward the suggestion to the representative present the possibility of reintroducing the home certifiers fund with a price increase to make it viable in conjunction with the reinforcement of the progressive payment system that has been used by banks for the last 25 years.
They also suggested the establishment of a trust fund managed by TIO with contributions from each residential building application that would give full insurance cover from commencement to 10 years after completion of contract.
Another concern that was again expressed by the builders is the control that the fidelity fund gives Master Builders over the residential building industry in the NT and the rights of privacy for not only registered builders but also home owner builders taking on projects.
We would also like to acknowledge the Minister of Central Australia for his support of the residential builders throughout the Territory in his statement to Cabinet that was sitting discussing the review at the same time as we were being presented the results in Alice Springs.
Jamie de Brenni
LETTER TO THE EDITOR