News & Views

1st May 2020

NECA welcomes Government report on non-conforming building products

30 Apr 2020

The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) welcomes recommendations made this week following the Senate Economics References Committee’s Inquiry into Non-Conforming Building Products.

As highlighted in the Inquiry’s Final Report, there are two key issues that are negatively impacting confidence in the Australian building sector.

Firstly, the use of non-conforming building products, which are products or materials that claim to be something they are not; and secondly, the non-compliant use of building products, where products or materials have been used incorrectly and in a manner that does not comply with the requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC).

Commenting on the report, Suresh Manickam, CEO of NECA, said:

“Non-conforming building products are the cancer of the construction industry, a disease that threatens every consumer and that has been allowed to fester by successive state and national governments.

“As the peak body for the electrical and communications contracting sector in Australia, NECA is well placed to take a lead role in supporting Government to work with industry to address the key recommendations and rebuild confidence in Australia’s building and construction sector.

“NECA welcomes the Government’s commitment to improved engagement with industry on non-confirming building products including the provision of a confidential reporting mechanism for concerns about non-conforming building products.

“In particular, to combat the sale and distribution of non-compliant electrical products, we support the urgent review and nationwide adoption of the Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS) scheme, a national database that records the registration details of responsible suppliers of electrical equipment across Australia and New Zealand.

“Introduction of a mandatory third-party certification scheme for high-risk building products could also positively contribute to addressing the industry-wide issue of non-compliant electrical products.

“However addressing non-conforming building products alone will not raise the quality of construction in Australia’s building industry. To stamp out non-conforming building products, a nationwide compliance and enforcement regime is required as well as additional government funding for relevant agencies and their operations.

“Imposing penalties for non-compliance with the National Construction Code, such as revocation of accreditation or a ban from tendering for Commonwealth funded construction work and substantial financial penalties, is a welcome recommendation and a strong deterrent to unscrupulous builders putting lives at risk.

A copy of NECA’s submission to the 2015 Senate Enquiry into non-conforming building products is available here.

ENDS

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