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Read all the latest news from Brendan O'Connor MP


November 01, 2019

The construction industry remains in crisis as building certifiers around the country are unable to get professional indemnity insurance.
One certifier, facing a 200-300 per cent rise in professional indemnity insurance premiums, self-described as “dead in the water” and facing likely closure.
The flammable cladding crisis in particular has underpinned risks in the sector that has seen building approvals decline for 22 straight months, and delays to billions of dollars of developments around the country.
How many livelihoods of business owners and employees need to be destroyed before the Federal Government steps in?
Minister Andrews continues to shirk any responsibility by passing the buck onto the states and territories, despite those jurisdictions rolling out reforms based on the Shergold-Weir report recommendations.
The onus is clearly now on the Federal Government and their responsibilities – insurance regulation, combatting illegal phoenixing, and the importation of dangerous materials such as flammable cladding.
The longer the Federal Government allows dangerous materials to be imported and used by dodgy phoenix directors, the longer the Federal Government contributes to the risks blowing out insurance premiums.
The shocking revelations about insurance comes just a week after Senate Estimates revealed that at least 11 Federal Fovernment buildings are covered in flammable cladding, and up to 190 Federal Government audits may not be complete.
Labor has also circulated amendments which will force the Government to vote on the Director Identification Number in Parliament to track phoenix directors. Every day action on phoenixing is delayed, it costs tradies, small businesses and the economy $14.5 million.
Labor implores Minister Andrews to show leadership at the next Building Ministers Forum in resolving this crisis.
Each day the Morrison Government fails to take leadership and respond to the building industry crisis, businesses are closing down, the safety and lives of Australians are put at risk.
Australians deserve to feel safe – especially in their own homes and workplaces.