Wednesday, August 7, 2019

AIRAH, the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating, supports the national approach to the implementation of the recommendations of the Shergold Weir Building Confidence report.

The Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) met recently in Sydney to discuss a range of issues facing the built environment sector. Ministers also met with industry representatives and discussed sundry matters, including roll-out of the Building Confidence implementation plan, which was delivered in March.

At the BMF, state building ministers agreed to a national approach to implementing the recommendations of the Building Confidence report. It was noted that many of the issues identified are historical and longstanding, and will continue to be addressed as the need arises. 

Yet ministers also concurred that the issues of the past shouldn’t hamper the sector’s future. To this end, they committed to work together to build a stronger Australian building and construction sector.  

AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH, says having the building ministers working together will bring greater confidence to the industry, and that the BMF should be commended for this.

“AIRAH supports the building ministers strengthening the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), and that the ABCB’s strategic plan will be recast to better reflect the building sector’s challenges,” he says.

“That the ABCB will be expanded to include greater representation and engagement from industry is also a good thing. AIRAH has a longstanding involvement with the ABCB through representation on the Building Code Committee and on working groups. We look forward to supporting the ABCB in this new expanded scope.” 

Of note is that despite the considerable publicity around combustible cladding of late, no plan was announced for a rectification strategy or best-practice Australia-wide risk-assessment response.

Gleeson says compliance and the risk impacts associated with it are also a continuing hot-button issue for the HVAC&R industry.

“AIRAH endorses a consistent approach to dealing with health, safety, fire and smoke controls, and building energy use, and our industry has a huge role to play in this,” Gleeson says. “With the release of the Shergold Weir report, the implementation plan and now the agreed coordinated national approach, there is the opportunity to achieve greater consistency for safety and compliance across Australia.”