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State government cracks down on ‘outrageous’ dodgy builders

The Andrews government is cracking down on dodgy builders and architects, in a push to tackle a construction crisis which has left many apartment owners in the lurch.

The government has announced new laws to target “phoenixing” — the practice of establishing stand-alone legal structures to construct a building, then collapsing them once the building is finished, leaving purchasers will no avenue to rectify shoddy works.

Under the new laws, the Victorian Building Authority will be granted the power to ban builders from the industry if they’re suspected of taking part in the dodgy practice.

Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne said phoenixing is costing Australians billions every year.

“This is a huge problem, particularly for purchasers of apartment,” he told Ross and John.

“This is not a Victorian problem, it is, in fact, a national problem.”

The federal government has also introduced a bill into parliament which hopes to target the practice nationally, but Mr Wynne said it will take a combined state and national effort to stamp out phoenixing.

“What we’re seeking to do is to strengthen the capacity of the Victorian Building Authority, our building regulator, to stamp down on the people who conduct this really quite outrageous behaviour,” he said.

“We’re targeting both individual practitioners and, indeed, registered companies.”

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Image: Anton Petrus