Yearly Archives: 2013

Bankrupt builders

It is the brand new neighbourhood fast becoming a ghetto – before most occupants have even moved in. Report by Jackie Quist.

We are embarrassed & ashamed

Builders pay for all compliance and consumer protection for our industry but we are continually embarrassed and ashamed of the Last Resort Warranty Insurance that is forced on our industry by government legislation.

Our consumers suffer in the most grotesque manner when we fail but government continue to fiddle and do nothing to fix the consumer protection and provide what we want which is real consumer protection.

An example of how we fail is shown in this Today Tonight segment at this link:

Last Resort Builders Warranty Fiasco continues

INSURANCE publishes the industry views on Governments and their lack of ability to listen to our industry and provide real consumer protection

Builder groups attack WA warranty reforms
30 September 2013

Proposed builders’ warranty insurance (BWI) reforms in WA will not solve market problems, according to trade groups.

The Builders Collective says the plan will increase the cost of cover, while Master Builders WA has questioned claims the plan will attract more insurers to the market.

The state’s only remaining BWI insurers, QBE and Calliden, are considering an Economic Regulation Authority report that recommends they continue providing construction-only cover, underwritten by the WA Government, while industry bodies offer voluntary warranty cover for six years post-construction.

The authority says this could bring more insurers to the market.

Many insurers have withdrawn from BWI in recent years. QBE says it is assessing its position in the state – where it provides 90% of cover – but is committed to working with the WA Building Commission to find a long-term solution.

Calliden Group Executive Agency Services Mike Hooton says the insurer will confirm its position after reviewing the report.

Builders Collective President Phil Dwyer says the recommendations will bring a large increase in construction insurance costs, plus the additional charge from the post-construction cover.

“If all those who are taking so much out of our industry were removed, we could provide first-resort [cover] at far less money than we pay now and our industry would not be continually embarrassed,” he told

Master Builders director Michael McLean says insurers have already quit BWI markets in other states, so “it is questionable whether any would continue to operate in a small market such as WA, even with a lower risk exposure”.

His group has told the Economic Regulation Authority it has no appetite for offering warranty cover, and it prefers Tasmania’s model of voluntary BWI.

The NT is also reviewing its BWI, including whether the mandatory system introduced in January is needed.

The Master Builders Association NT operates a fund as the sole source of cover.

Letter from the NT Government

Dear stakeholder
RE: Residential Building Cover (RBC) Package Review 2013

The Minister for Lands, Planning, and the Environment has announced an independent review into the Residential Building Cover Package. A copy of the Review’s Term of Reference is attached for your information.

The Review Panel will as part of its review be testing the RBC package against past builder failures in the Northern Territory to quantify the extent that the current RBC package (including the cover provided by the fidelity fund scheme) would have benefited consumers.

The Panel is also inviting comment from stakeholders to assist in identifying if there are any potential modifications to the RBC package which will reduce the red tape burden on the building industry whilst maintaining consumer protection.

An Issues Paper has been prepared to help generate discussion and is available from

You are encouraged to provide your written comments by 26 August 2013, which may be forwarded by email to or by mail to RBC Review Panel, PO Box 1680 DARWIN NT 0801.

Yours sincerely
Residential Building Cover Review Panel
12 August 2013

Darwin Builder Meeting

The builders meeting held on the 11th July attracted both builders and consumers, and was successful considering the blanket advertising blitz undertaken by the Master Builders.

Whichever way the Fidelity fund is presented nothing alters the fact that it is a LAST RESORT product with a narrow claims criteria of only four triggers that will not deliver to our clients/consumers a responsible consumer protection regime.

Remember builders pay for every cent of compliance and consumer protection and we want a say in what is provided.

We want a regime that will protect our consumers, manage our industry, and deliver the intended benefit and not embarrass our Government and our industry.

Government have a responsibility to us to deliver an appropriate regime on our behalf and not abrogate their responsibility to the expensive secretive private sector last resort scheme that will not deliver as “CHOICE” has stated in the past, and are now currently reviewing at our request.

Alice Springs Builders Have Their Say

Thursday June 6 saw virtually all the Alice Springs builders come together over concerns bought on by the introduction of the MBA Fidelity Fund by the previous Government as a kneejerk reaction to the Carey Builders failure.

This Last Resort scheme in the southern States has had devastating impacts on both builders and consumers with unimaginable outcomes, and has been maintained under an illusion as the regulatory oversight was removed by the instigators at the outset.

The nations consumer advocate ‘Choice’ in their written assesment of Last Resort refer to it as Junk policies/certificates not worth the paper they are  written on, and making a mockery of consumer protection while the Productivity Commission state its been a running sore since inception.


The State of the Nation

Every State except Tasmania is undertaking a review of their consumer protection-warranty insurance regimes because of the constant critisism from consumers and the legitimate building industry associations however the one association being the Housing Industry Association (HIA) that has enjoyed the ear of Governments over the past decade considers the Last Resort Warranty Insurance concept they introduced back in 2002 that still manages our industry is appropriate today. HIA also enjoy the support of MBA Victoria.


Conflict and anger

“Conflict and anger”

Describes the warranty insurance regime in the states where Last Resort insurance exists and is inflicted on both the consumer and builder when a dispute arises.

The Baillieu, O’Farrell, and Barnett Governments all know the issues as they have conveyed them to their parliaments on behalf of builders and consumers over their years in opposition. (more…)