VBA Mail – April 2022
Victoria’s building and plumbing industries have continued to grow, despite unprecedented disruption and challenges faced in the past two years.
The resilience demonstrated by industry has allowed it to remain the backbone of the Victorian economy and play its part in helping drive the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Victoria’s construction industry has seen significant growth over the past eight years, with an 86.3 per cent increase in the value of building works and 31 per cent increase in the number of building permits issued.
Despite the impacts of COVID-19, a record 127,792 building permits were issued in 2021, worth $44.6 billion. This was a 12.7 per cent increase compared to 2020 and a 25.3 percent increase compared to 2019, the last pandemic-free year.
This continued growth is testament to the Victorian community’s desire for building and plumbing work and the endeavour of industry to ensure projects big and small are delivered for all Victorians.
Building Surveyors’ Conference
It was great to again virtually join hundreds of practitioners for the VBA’s 2022 Building Surveyors’ Conference on 23 and 24 March.
This conference has grown to become the VBA’s flagship annual event, with this year’s agenda exploring some of the biggest issues, challenges and opportunities facing the building surveying profession, including the future of the industry and upcoming transformational reforms.
The VBA is proud to launch its new strategy - Vision27, which will guide our organisation to be future-focused and safeguard Victoria’s future. Our new strategic direction is an opportunity for us to solidify our position as a trusted regulator over the next five years.
The strategy will help us deliver on three key public value outcomes, including safe and resilient buildings, communities reaching their potential and a confident and thriving industry.
A supporting Annual Regulatory Plan will support this strategy and is due for release later this year.
A significant piece of change for all of us this year will be the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022, which will have a big impact on industry.
As the structure of the code continues to be refined to improve readability, the provisions of the code have been renumbered, which will take some time to get used to.
We’ll see some of the next stages of improving provisions related to waterproofing, weatherproofing, condensation, and fire protection, along with some additional technical guidance in the housing provisions.
Some of the big changes include an increased focus on expanding accessible housing for our community and dealing with risks associated with lead in plumbing products.
NCC22 will also see new residential energy efficiency provisions, which are expected to improve energy productivity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In recognition of the impacts COVID-19 has had on industry, the ABCB has delayed the publication of the NCC from May to September.
We’re expecting a preview of the NCC to be available in May. The ABCB is also refreshing guidance material and information to support the changes in the code – and you will see that rolling out from May too.
We’re working to finalise our industry engagement to support practitioners, which will include webinars, guidance notes and updated info on our website.
The ABCB will also run information seminars covering the content of Volumes 1 and 2 on 26 & 27 July at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.
The changes to the NCC are coming at a time of significant regulatory reform. It will be a lot of work, but I am confident if we all work together, the process will be as smooth as possible.
Sue Eddy, Andrew Cialini,
VBA Chief Executive Officer VBA State Building Surveyor
In this edition...
The Proactive Inspections Program is an early-intervention initiative involving experienced inspectors who identify, resolve and reduce non-compliant work.
This twice-yearly report focuses on compliance and enforcement activities achieved by the VBA for the first six months of 2021–22 (July to December 2021).
Aspiring building practitioners have experienced a more efficient and time-saving application process since the introduction of online exams.
Hundreds of building surveyors and other building practitioners gathered virtually to hear from industry experts.
The VBA has handed out serious penalties to plumbing and building practitioners for non-compliant and dangerous work.
The VBA is making it easier for practitioners to lodge applications, saving them both time and money.