The Insurance Council of Australia and four other industry bodies have today issued a joint call on the Federal Government to take a lead on reforming the troubled building industry.
Failure to urgently address the issues of cladding and building defects in high-rise apartments across major capital cities will continue to drive insurers away from providing professional indemnity and domestic cover, they say in a letter to Industry Minister Karen Andrews.
The other four signatories are the Property Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Construction Industry Forum and Master Builders Australia.
The call comes after UK-based Landmark Underwriting, the last provider of exclusion-free professional indemnity cover in the country, left the market this month.
“Building surveyors, engineers and architects are now struggling to obtain the insurance they need to do their job, which in turn could seriously affect future building or construction activity,” the letter says. “Consumers, building owners, building practitioners and their insurers need certainty and confidence in building regulation.
“As organisations representing the building, construction, property and insurance industries, we urge the Federal Government to play a leadership role.”
Canberra should develop a consistent rectification strategy for buildings with combustible cladding materials and set up a joint government-industry taskforce to act on recommendations proposed in the recent Shergold-Weir report, it says.