Queensland homeowners and builders receive help with new service
Queensland homeowners and builders caught between rising prices and material shortages can now get free help in building their homes.
The Accelerated Builder/Consumer Dispute (ABCD) service became available on July 1, providing free professional mediators to help homeowners and builders find a way to get their homes completed.
Minister for Public Works Mick de Brenni said the Government took action after industry groups pleaded for help as their members were caught between the pandemic’s effect on global supply chains and the boom in construction activity across the state.
With timber and steel products and roofing workers in short supply, many are struggling to keep building homes as they face huge cost increases.
“COVID, HomeBuilder and low-interest rates, when added to Queensland’s strong economic recovery from the pandemic, have drawn more people to move to the state, creating a ‘perfect storm’ for supplies and skills shortages,” Minister de Brenni said.
“The ABCD will give homeowners and builders a way to get together with the help of a professional problem solver and achieve what both sides ultimately signed up for – builders want to get the job done and homeowners want to get into their homes.”
The ABCD service is available through the QBCC website and expected to run for the next 12 months.
Queensland’s $45 billion construction industry and its 240,000 jobs were a critical part of their COVID19 Economic Recovery Plan.
“We are working hard with key industry stakeholders including Master Builders Association Queensland, the Housing Industry Association and Building Industry Products Council to support consumers, contractors and manufacturers through the current challenges,” Minister de Brenni said.
Housing Industry Association executive director Queensland Mike Roberts said builders were under pressure with costs soaring within contracts that were already signed.
“This situation is no one’s fault,” Director Roberts said.
“We need people to be patient and understanding and we thought a mediation process would be useful.”
Master Builders Deputy CEO Paul Bidwell said the new framework will be welcomed by the state’s residential building sector. He also said the service will help achieve better outcomes for those facing the impact of shortages of materials and trades.
“Designed to open the lines of communication, this new framework will arm builders and their customers with the right information to discuss reasonable and realistic solutions and navigate the impact of these shortages, delays and cost escalations,” CEO Bidwell said.
“Once this new framework starts to make inroads, we look forward to working with the state government on a longer-term dispute resolution process to further improve how building disputes in Queensland are handled.”