FOLLOWING UP on major NSW legislative and regulatory reforms to improve building quality and safety, three peak bodies have released a landmark guide for design practitioners and engineers.
Consult Australia, Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Architects have joined forces to develop the Guide for design practitioners and engineers to help their members tackle the recent NSW Building Confidence reforms.
The guide is a practical resource that highlights key issues relevant to contracts and professional indemnity (PI) insurance relating to the recent legislative and regulatory changes.
There are multiple new obligations on design practitioners, engineers and building practitioners throughout the life of a building under the NSW Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (the D&BP Act) and the Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021 (the D&BP Regulation).
The three peak bodies have worked closely with the NSW Government and authorities on the reforms which aim to ensure better compliance with the Building Code of Australia underpinned by higher quality design documentation in a positive step towards rectifying issues that have had significant negative impacts on consumers and building industry practitioners.
Australian Institute of Architects NSW Chapter president, Laura Cockburn, urged architects and other design and construction professionals to take full advantage of the new guide.
“We are determined to continue driving quality and safety improvements in our built environment," Ms Cockburn said.
“This new legislative framework is an important step in that process that will also rebuild consumer confidence and augment the safeguards detailed design documentation brings to any project, but particularly projects at scale.”
Consult Australia CEO Nicola Grayson said, "The interplay between contractual obligations and PI insurance policies is a critical issue for our members that must be considered before signing any contract.
“This guide helps design practitioners and engineers understand this interplay in the context of the latest NSW reforms.”
Engineers Australia chief engineer Jane MacMaster said, “The building reform agenda in NSW encapsulated by the D&BP Act and Regulations will help to ensure buildings are built to the high standard expected by our communities. This guide will assist design practitioners and engineers with their role and obligations in the new regulatory environment.”
Office of the Building Commissioner director, Matt Press has supported the work by the industry bodies.
“The implementation of the Design and Building Practitioner Act creates new roles, responsibilities and liabilities for many players. It’s so important that these are reflected in contracts to make sure clients, designers and engineers are on the same page and we minimise disputes. The Australian Institute of Architects, Consult Australia and Engineers Australia have shown great industry leadership to produce a one stop shop for practice-focussed guidance.”
A copy of the Guide for design practitioners and engineers is available on the following websites: Consult Australia, Engineers Australia and Australian Institute of Architects.
NEW RESEARCH by Deloitte Access Economics shows Melbourne’s CBD economy should grow by $6 billion in 2021 and would be on-track to return to pre-COVID levels by late 2024.
The research was produced for the City of Melbourne in May 2021 and includes comparative data on CBD economies in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
Despite the economic devastation caused by the pandemic, Melbourne’s CBD economy is predicted to bounce back strongly, growing by 16.9 percent or about $5.9 billion to total more than $41 billion by the end of the 2021 calendar year.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said quickening the city’s economic recovery was her top priority.
“Many Melbourne businesses have been through the toughest trading conditions in living memory and need our ongoing support to bounce back and thrive again,” Cr Capp said.
“The stronger our economic recovery is the more job opportunities there will be for Melburnians. A strong economy means Melbourne will continue to have growing finance and technology industries, vibrant cultural and hospitality industries and all the other experiences that make our city so marvellous.”
The recovery timeline for the CBD is forecast by Deloitte Access Economics to be four years, with the CBD returning to its pre-COVID-19 peak of approximately $74 billion in the second half of 2024.
CBD employment is forecast to bounce back, with 332,600 workers expected to be working in the city each day by 2025, only 5.5 percent (or 19,700 workers) fewer than in 2019.
The research comes shortly after City of Melbourne councillors endorsed a new Economic Development Strategy that sets a 10-year plan for the city's economic, social and cultural recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.
The strategy includes targets for economic growth across the municipality by 2031:
- $150 billion Gross Local Product (GLP) (2019: GLP $104 billion);
- $250,000 GLP contribution per job (2019 GLP contribution by job: $209,000);
- 600,000 jobs (2019 employment: 497,000);
- 270,000 residential population (June 2020 residential population: 183,000);
- Less than 5 percent shopfront vacancy rate (May 2021 vacancy rate: 19 per cent).
Gross Regional Product (GRP) or Gross Local Product (GLP) typically measures the output of all firms based in a region or municipality. Council’s Economic Development Strategy and other documents such as the Census of Land Use and Employment (CLUE) use this methodology and cover the entire municipality.
In contrast, the Deloitte research is focused on Melbourne’s CBD only and it measures output based on where the employees are currently located, not where the firm is located, to account for the working from home phenomenon.
The Lord Mayor said while Melbourne was facing challenges such as work-from-home practices there were major economic opportunities on the horizon including the re-opening of Australia’s borders and international students returning.
“We’ve all made sacrifices during the pandemic and it’s time to be ambitious about a quick and strong recovery. I couldn’t disagree more with those who say the city will never recover. With the right support, the city can grow into a $150 billion economy over the next decade,” Cr Capp said.
City Activation Chair Roshena Campbell said the city’s economic recovery was the council’s key priority.
“With our Economic Development Strategy, the council has a strong plan for Melbourne to rebound from the pandemic. Avoiding lockdowns and ramping up vaccination rates will mean the city can recover faster than expected.” Cr Campbell said.
“Prior to COVID-19, rental vacancies in the city were at record lows but there has never been a better time to start and grow a business in the city than right now. Competitive rents provide a fantastic opportunity to secure a CBD location for both start-ups and businesses looking to grow.”
The Deloitte research did not take into account restrictions in Melbourne in June 2021 or restrictions in Sydney in June and July 2021.
AUSTRALIA'S foremost regional economic development conference, Sustainable Economic Growth in Regional Australia (SEGRA) will be held in the City of Kalgoorlie Boulder from November 16-18 this year.
“SEGRA is widely recognised as Australia’s most credible, independent voice on issues affecting regional, rural and remote Australia,” SEGRA Conference convenor Kate Charters said.
This annual event highlights trends and opportunities affecting regional Australia as well as showcasing examples of successful regional initiatives from government, business, social ventures and the community.
SEGRA attracts more than 300 delegates from all levels of government, senior members of Parliament, policy advisers, industry players, academics and practitioners to develop and promote solutions to regional issues.
Conference convenor Kate Charters said the organisers were delighted to bring SEGRA to the City of Kalgoorlie Boulder.
“In addition to profiling the Kalgoorlie Boulder region to delegates, the conference offers an excellent opportunity to showcase the success of the region’s economic development strategies and its capacity to create economic opportunities, through innovative business, strategic planning and a commitment to sustainable living” she said.
City of Kalgoorlie Boulder Mayor John Bowler said, “The successful SEGRA bid was testament to Kalgoorlie Boulder’s unique position as an important innovative, creative and technologically savvy hub in inland Australia as well as the capacity for regions to progress and prosper on their own strengths."
SEGRA 2021 is hosted by The City of Kalgoorlie Boulder with event partners Regional Development Australia (Goldfields Esperance), Goldfields Esperance Development Commission and Kalgoorlie Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry.