Reduction in Red Tape to Further Boost Construction

The construction industry has grown from strength to strength over the last few months and it looks like that growth trend is set to continue especially now that the government has announced it will be relaxing the rules on who can build government houses.

The government has embarked on what has been labelled a red-tape reduction blitz which will see it cut another 1000 regulations and push savings past $1 billion in a year, providing an approximate $500 million boost to regional economies.

Members of the housing industry are pleased with the move which it believes will open many opportunities to local builders in regional Australia. It will also save the government more than $15,000 a house and reduce compliance costs dramatically.

At the moment, only those builders who are accredited under the scheme can enter into head contracts for construction work funded directly or indirectly by the federal government, this will change once red tape it cut. Government will be reducing red tape by exempting builders from the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme, run by the Federal Safety Commissioner, when bidding for a tender on individual residential housing, or a project worth less than $4m.

The government blitz on red tape has already cut 10,000 in its first repeal but will be adding 1000 more to the list which will spread across nine different federal departments.

Many builders have announced their joy at the relaxation of regulations which will save them money. One builder explained:

Townsville builder Ron Jones, who has been in the industry since 1982 and runs Ron Jones the Builder, is pleased the regulations are being relaxed.

He says they force him to employ someone for 3½ days a week to comply with the federal scheme.

“It adds costs to the job and to every other job you do as well,’’ Mr Jones said.

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While red tape is slashed by government and many new opportunities open up for builders, especially in rural and regional Australia, builders must not forget that there are still some regulations which cannot be compromised, especially those relating to safety.

The first safety concern that builders should address is safety training. It is pointless implementing safety controls if workers aren’t aware of them and properly trained to handle them correctly. That is why construction employers must ensure workers receive site specific safety training as well as general safety training in the form of The White Card Course.

When employing a worker to work on any construction site, anywhere in Oz, builders need to ensure that these workers are in possession of a valid White Card. This White Card proves that workers have completed the mandatory minimum safety training requirement under federal legislation. Thereafter employers must provide workers with additional site specific and task specific training as required.