Building Services (Registration) Bill 2010

Extract from Hansard
[COUNCIL — Wednesday, 18 May 2011]
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich; Hon Simon O'Brien; Hon Lynn MacLaren



The Deputy Chairman of Committees (Hon Brian Ellis) in the chair; Hon Simon O’Brien (Minister for
Commerce) in charge of the bill.

Clause 1: Short title —

Hon LYNN MacLAREN: I have a question regarding the workforce planning that was done. Did the minister
think about how many jobs might be created through this process of registration? This question may be more
relevant to the Building Bill when we talk about the fact that we have private surveyors, but it also relates to the
question raised regarding the transition between the old system and the new system. The minister has said that he
is looking at professionalising the current workforce. My advice has been that the educational opportunities for
registered builders have been limited. Does the minister have any idea of how many jobs might be created
through this system, and is the technical and further education system gearing up to provide that training, or to
provide assessments for recognition of prior learning, so that people are able to acquire these professional
qualifications that we are talking about?

Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: The changes that we are seeking to make here are not about creating jobs per se;
however, they will create a stronger sector and provide more meaningful jobs. It is the wide experience of those
involved in the building sector that the end goal of registration does work in encouraging apprentices and
trainees to stick to their program and to reach that goal, and I think that is very positive. It will also strengthen
the standing and self-worth of the participants in the industry if they know that they will have the security of
registration. One thing I did not know previously, which I have learned in this role, is that a lot of trades in this
state are not registered. That includes roof tilers, floor tilers and roof carpenters—all sorts of people. When
people in those trades come here from other states where they need to be registered or licensed and say, “Where
can I get registered so that I can work here?”, they are appalled to find that they do not need to be registered
here, because they see registration as a reinforcement of their standing and their qualifications, and as their
guarantee that they will be able to provide their services at a higher technical standard to an appreciative
consumer body. Therefore, from the sector’s point of view, that is the positive reinforcement that we will get out
of registration. Also, from the consumers’ point of view, I am sure that all those attributes and strengths will be
appreciated and will increase consumer confidence. As part of the process, some moneys have been allocated by
the Building Commission to Central TAFE to assist with some of its education programs, I think for building
surveyors. As I have said, strictly speaking, no jobs are targeted to be created through these bills. However, as
our economy grows, more jobs will be created in this sector, which through this legislation will become healthier
and better structured than it might otherwise have been.

Hon LYNN MacLAREN: When we look at a sustainable future and the transition to energy-efficient buildings,
one of the jobs that will be very important is the assessment of whether energy efficiency standards have been
met. This is what we would see as a new green job in the new green economy. Will there be any opportunity
under this new building registration regime to encourage job creation in those industries in which people are
learning new skills about the thermal properties of building materials and the ways in which we can improve the
energy efficiency of buildings?

Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: I thank the member for that; I will take the comments on board. By way of brief
response, as the member points out, it is a sign of the times and a sign of our need to develop and adapt new
systems that there are new occupations such as sustainability assessors. Whether those or other classes of newish
occupations are actually captured under this system is something for which we have built-in flexibility so that we
can. We can do that by regulation. Whether it is sustainability assessors, tilers, cabinet-makers or something else,
there is the prospect for this system to grow and serve it. Again, to get into any further discussion on job creation
is probably going a little bit beyond registration and clause 1 of the bill.

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