Welcome the new year. I am the new Victorian Executive Director for the Housing Industry Association and look forward to working for the Victorian residential building industry.
This year is expected to be another challenging one despite signs that price increases and the shortage of trades may ease as the year progresses. Consumer confidence has been adversely impacted by the regular interest rate increases and this means less new jobs starting this year. The amount of work is the building pipeline will reduce as the year progresses.
National Construction Code
For the residential building industry in Victoria there will also be challenges with the introduction of a new version of the National Construction Code (NCC 2022) during this year. These changes are the most significant changes to the NCC ever.
The new version of the NCC makes significant changes with respect to the accessibility and energy efficiency of new homes and renovated homes as well. There are also many other changes to be aware of. These changes will start taking effect from 1 May and 1 October this year.
HIA will be over the year running a number of NCC 2022 information sessions to help the industry prepare for these changes. Our website already has a lot of detailed information available as well. I urge all builders and trades to take the time to make themselves familiar with these changes and seek guidance as required.
HIA members also may contact our Technical Services and Workplace Services teams to get further advice about the impact of NCC 2022 on their businesses.
New Victorian Laws
The Victorian government is also expected to make major changes to the regulation of people who work in the building industry. This year we are expected to finally get more detail about the new scheme for the registration and licensing of trades. This scheme has the potential, if not introduced carefully by the government, to force many trades to exit the building industry. An especially troubling aspect of the scheme is the different requirements for employed trades as opposed to trades who work as contractors.
It is also expected that the Victorian government will introduce regulations that will require registered building practitioners, which will increasingly include trades, to complete professional development, such attending seminars and training courses. This continuing professional development (CPD) scheme is expected to require registered building practitioners to complete a certain amount of CPD each year to retain their registration.
More details about these new regulations should be released by the Victorian government sometime during the first half of this year. HIA will also provide detailed information to their members to help them prepare for these changes.