GENERAL PROPERTY

Building ministers meet as industry repeats call for action

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BUILDING ministers across the country will meet with Federal Minister for Industry Karen Andrews today at the Building Ministers’ Forum in Sydney to discuss the professional indemnity insurance crisis.

The other item listed for discussion today is the implementation plan based on the recommendations of the Shergold and Weir report.

The Australian Institute of Building Surveyors CEO Brett Mace renewed calls for national leadership by the federal government for the development of a combustible cladding rectification model to address the current crisis.

Earlier this week the Andrews government launched a $600 million package to fix buildings with combustible cladding with $300 million to be raised from developers via an increase in permit levies, which is expected to be passed on to homebuyers, after the federal government rejected an assistance plea from Victoria.

Mace welcomed the Victorian government initiative but said it will not help building surveyors struggling with unworkable PII policies right now.

“Unfortunately, AIBS is aware of building surveying firms already closing because of unreasonable insurance policies. Premiums have in some cases have skyrocketed by 500% but, even worse, they contain broad exclusions and massive excesses per claim.

“Some firms currently holding policies without exclusions, fear they will have to close when their policies come up for renewal and they cannot obtain a new policy without exclusions.

“There is no option now but for the Ministers to stop ignoring the severity of the problem, stop playing party political games and act now to save the building industry,” Mace said.

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