Foundations issue 40: June 2018

Have your say on proposed changes to the Swimming Pools Regulation

The Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 is scheduled for automatic repeal on 1 September 2018. The proposed Swimming Pools Regulation 2018 contains many of the same provisions as the 2008 Regulation. The main changes include:

  • changing fee caps and structures
  • changing warning notice requirements
  • improving public access to applicable Australian Standards
  • requiring certificates of non-compliance to be entered into the Swimming Pools Register
  • providing greater flexibility for the way in which spa pools can be secured.

Visit the NSW Fair Trading website to view the proposed Regulation and the accompanying Regulatory Impact Statement. The website includes information about how to lodge submissions on the proposed Regulation, which must be received by 5pm, 29 June 2018.

Have your say on the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation

The Gas and Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2018 has been developed to replace and combine the existing electricity and gas regulations. The proposed Regulation supports the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2017 and aims to ensure consistency between the gas and electricity regimes. The main changes include:

  • bringing penalties for gas offences in line with electricity offences
  • updating references to the mandatory Australian standards for gasfitting and autogas work
  • extending the power to the Secretary to provide exemptions to cover electrical installation or class of electrical installation
  • updating fees for CPI increases and fees to be displayed as a fee unit.

Visit the NSW Fair Trading website to view the proposed Regulation and the accompanying Regulatory Impact Statement. The website includes information about how to give feedback and comment on the proposed Regulation, which must be submitted by Wednesday, 4 July 2018.

External wall cladding is now a major defect

The Home Building Regulation has been amended to classify external flammable wall cladding as a major defect. Homeowners who purchase units or townhouses with unsafe external wall cladding, will now have up to six years after completion of the build to get repairs or rectification work done by the builder responsible for the project.

Don't forget to check your subbies are licensed

The Home Building Act 1989 (the Act) provides that a person who holds a contractor licence, can only subcontract the performance of residential building work to another person who holds a valid contractor licence appropriate for the work being done.

An individual who breaches this requirement can be fined up to $22,000, and a corporation can be fined up to $110,000 for such a breach. An individual who is convicted of committing a second or subsequent breach of this nature, can be fined up to $55,000 or imprisoned for up to 12 months, or both.

You can check if a tradesperson holds a valid licence on Fair Trading’s website.

Home building compensation scheme update

From 1 July, the cost of home building compensation (HBC) cover – formerly known as home warranty insurance – needs to be disclosed in contracts for residential building work over $20,000.

The ‘cost of cover’ must be the total amount you paid for the HBC cover, or a reasonable estimate of what it will cost, including brokerage costs, fees and taxes. If you want to charge a margin for arranging the cover, you cannot include it in the ‘cost of cover’ line item. You must include it elsewhere in the contract.

NSW Fair Trading is updating the standard contract template for building or trade work over $20,000 and the Consumer Building Guide to reflect the changes.

More information about HBC requirements is available from the State Insurance Regulatory Authority website.

Searching for SafeWork licences is now easier

The NSW Government has published a register of individuals who hold asbestos, high risk work and demolition licences as well as holders of general construction induction training cards (white cards). The register includes the following information:

  • licence holder’s name
  • licence number and type
  • the licence status
  • the licence expiry date (if any)
  • licence conditions
  • prosecution summaries and information about penalty notices issued by SafeWork NSW (only penalty notices issued after 1 July 2018 will be published).

The register provides greater protection for workers, consumers and the community by making it easier to check the above information.