22 May 2020
Under questioning by Labor’s Leader in the Legislative Council, Adam Searle MLC today, Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Kevin Anderson MP was asked to confirm that two important Bills to reform the building industry would be brought on for debate at the resumption of Parliament in early June.
The Bills, which the Opposition has been demanding be brought on to be debated and passed as a matter of urgency since the beginning of the year, will reform and regulate the building industry and ensure dodgy builders are forced out of the industry.
The Opposition has been demanding these Bills be passed before any construction-led recovery effort is rolled out in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
“The first time the Minister was asked this question he said he would take it on notice. The second time, he said he would not discuss the matter today,” Mr Searle said.
“By repeatedly refusing to answer the question, the Minister has called into question the Government’s commitment to debate building standards legislation when Parliament resumes on 2 June” — Adam Searle MLC, Labor’s Leader in the Legislative Council
The Minister was appearing before an inquiry convened to examine the Government’s response to COVID-19.
“It beggars belief that Minister Anderson doesn’t have the answer to a basic and simple question about the progress of his own Bills through the Parliament,” said Labor’s Shadow Minister for Building Reform, Yasmin Catley MP.
The Parliamentary Business paper for Tuesday 2 June 2020, on the New South Wales Parliament website, notes that the introduction of the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Bill is the first item of business that day.
“You begin to wonder which is worse – an evasive answer or an ignorant one,” Ms Catley said.
“We cannot allow the Government to fast track the approval of massive high-rise developments as an economic stimulus measure until these reforms are passed or we will end up with another Opal or Mascot Tower debacle on our hands,” she added.