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Qld’s building and construction board downsizes following review

by Kate Aubrey11 minute read
Qld’s building and construction board downsizes following review

Queensland’s building industry watchdog has announced fresh faces to lead its building and construction commission, following a review to strengthen the regulator.

A new board has been appointed to oversee the activities of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) and lead its new direction.

While the board appointment was coming to an end, the appointments come after an independent review into the regulatory agency, which recommended it realign itself as an “outcomes-focused statutory agency.”

The QBCC is the industry’s self-funded, independent regulator and the review examined the roles and responsibilities of the QBCC and the Queensland Building and Construction (QBC) board, along with their respective policies, procedures, and practices to ensure governance arrangements reflect best practice for a building and construction industry regulator.


The QBCC Governance Review 2022 made 17 recommendations to help ensure the effective regulation of the Queensland building and construction industry and ensure Queensland homes are made more resilient to extreme weather.

Lead reviewer Jim Varghese AM said governments nationally have asked building industry regulators to do more in an increasingly complex environment and were “inundated with strong views and suggestions”.

“It was clear the industry and consumer stakeholders who contributed to the review felt the QBCC had not met their expectations in managing their specific matters,” Mr Varghese said.

“The areas that were most topical included the conflicts of interest framework, importance of transparency, fairness, impartiality, and consistency in decision-making processes.

“It is critical to create and maintain the momentum for effective change and to address the gap between where we are now and where the QBCC aspires to be as an outcomes-focused statutory agency.”

Among the recommendations included refocusing the QBCC’s regulatory role to licensing and compliance of the industry, reducing the size of the QBC board, and strengthening and improving building resilience to the impacts of natural disasters.

In line with recommendations of the review, the board has been downsized from 10 to seven.

An important part of this transformation was to establish an independent, quarantined mediation, resolution, and review unit within the regulator.

“This will improve the customer experience, reduce appeals and alleviate a perceived need to find other avenues to pursue issues and concerns, Mr Varghese said.

Minister for Public Works, Mick de Brenni, said the new board, to be headed by lawyer Michelle James, would continue this transformation of the commission.

“The new board brings with it a wealth of leadership and expertise to support the QBCC in implementing the recommendations of the QBCC Governance Review,” Mr de Brenni said.

“It has a crucial role to play in overseeing the financial wellbeing of the industry and there is a clear expectation that it will also properly regulate and support the economic underpinning of a sector that’s critical to the State’s economy.

“Queensland’s building and construction industry directly and indirectly employs around 230,000 people and is worth an estimated $47 billion to the economy annually.”

Mr de Brenni said Ms James was the ideal person to be leading the board, having already held the deputy chair role.

“Ms James is a board member of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and a director of Australian Lawyers Alliance, has held a number of respected committee positions within the legal community and holds professional qualifications in business and governance,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Ms James and deputy chair John Anderson have extensive combined experience in building and construction, insurance, consumer advocacy and awareness, corporate governance and risk and public sector governance.”

Mr de Brenni added the new board had the right mix of skills, diversity, and experience to ensure building standards are maintained and that the industry is safer, fairer, and more sustainable.

The appointments for incoming board members will run from 1 December 2022 to 20 November 2025.

[Related: Qld astounded by the cost to build]

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