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Building & Construction (Regulatory Reform Amendments) Bill (No 39) of 2020

Second reading speech

[12.57 p.m.]

Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, the Building Act is one of the most difficult areas I have to deal with in Launceston. It is one of the areas that gives me the most concern, but I support this bill, which, as we have been told, has three principles repeated throughout.

First - the statutory time frames, which can be anywhere from 20 days to 42 days. These provide certainty and consistency for the applicant, and that is very important.

Second - the request for information, with the ability for the regulator to request extra information. I note the bill enables the regulator to make as many requests for additional information as it deems appropriate, with the clock stopping. That is a very important area too because it can take some time for information to come forward.

I understand what the member for Hobart is saying - having been on council, if time starts to run out, something could be refused, but with a little more time, it can be tweaked and approved. It is important extra information is received to try to encourage development rather than knocking something back.

Third - once the regulator has all the information, it should make a decision within a defined time. One of the complaints I used to receive as a councillor was that people simply wanted to know where their application was at. This bill allows certainty for an applicant or a developer to know where they are going and whether it is refused. At least, if it is refused, they know they can move on, or if it is approved. That is a very important part of the bill.

Mr Valentine - I might make a point to clarify: it is about the building approvals as opposed to development application approvals.

Ms ARMITAGE - Yes, I understand that.

This is a good bill and I certainly will support it. I am looking forward, though, to a response to a letter I wrote to Mr Graham in May asking when COVID-19 allows -

Resumed from above.

[2.46 p.m.]

Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, I had finished my short contribution before the break, but, as I mentioned to the Leader earlier, I will endeavor to contact Mr Graham again. I have not received anything from him since May/June with regard to meeting industry representatives about the building problems we have in the north, and probably statewide.


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