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EDITION 2-2011

The new Economic Development Directorate

Burglars beware! 10 Arrests in 2 Nights

Leader Security Stops Copper Theft with Virtual Security.

A one stop shop for business

Shared Services Procurement

Certification & Audit strategy

The Building Industry’s night of nights

Long term infrastructure plan unveiled


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The New Volkswagen Amarok has arrived at Volkswagen dealerships in Australia following its successful initiation onto the world stage as official support vehicle for the ASO – the event organiser of the famous Dakar Rally. A triumph of smart technology and outstanding Volkswagen design, engineering and build quality, Amarok is destined to be one of the most sought after utes in the country. Amarok boasts class leading fuel efficiency, standard ESP across the range, the largest tray in its class, a huge interior and a long list of safety inclusions. Test drive the Über Ute tested by Dakar today at Solitaire Volkswagen, your Commercial Vehicle dealer.

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Treasurer – Simon Butt Commercial Builders Council Chair – Valdis Luks Civil Contractors Council Chair – David Jones

Procurement Audit Tool New certification and audit strategy for IR compliance.

Master Builders provide comment on DV306.

Residential Builders Council Chair – David Howarth Professional Consultants Council Chair – Hans Sommer Suppliers & Subcontractors Council Chair – Graciete Ferreira MASTER BUILDERS MANAGEMENT TEAM Executive Director – John Miller


President – Ross Barrett

June 2011



for affordable housing for all ages. Based on the recommendations n and the ACT Strategic Plan for Positive Ageing, ACTPLA has Secondary residences” in Draft Variation 306.

Can a secondary residence be separately titled?

No. A secondary residence is not permitted to be subdivided and cannot be sold separately to the main residence (though it does not need to be removed if the main residence is sold). However, a secondary residence may be rented out.

DV 306


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Deputy Executive Director – Jerry Howard Director Industrial Relations – Mike Baldwin Senior Management Accountant – Louise MacCallum


Blackett Homes’ 30th


The team at Blackett Homes celebrate thirty years of business in the ACT.


Leader Security


Burglars beware. An innovative security company that is well ahead of construction site theives.

14 Carbon Tax What the tax means for the Building and Construction industry.

24 Building Contracts

A relationship worth maintaining effectively.

Master Builders Industry Dinner, incorporating the CCF Earth Awards Date: Thursday 1 September 2011 The Earth Awards have the specific aim of recognising outstanding work in construction and environmental excellence which reflects development and use of the best technologies and practices by Australian civil contractors.

Business in Focus Workshops - Innovation and Technology Date: 28 -29 September 2011 Free workshops for Master Builders members held as part of Business in Focus month.

Homes for the Workers A history of the Narrabundah pre-fabs.

2011 Building Awards Some outstanding entries and images from the night of nights..

18 Brown Consulting

Relocates to an eco-efficient building.

42 The Bottom Line David Dawes discusses the new ACT Economic Development Directorate.

Senior Manager – Marketing & Membership Services – David Leitch MASTER BUILDERS GROUP TRAINING General Manager – Wendy Tengstrom

Master Builders Association of the ACT 1 Iron Knob St, Fyshwick ACT 2609 PO Box 1211, Fyshwick ACT 2601 Tel: (02) 6247 2099 Fax: (02) 6249 8374  Email: Web: Advertising enquires Senior Manager - Marketing & Membership Services – David Leitch Tel: (02) 6175 5970 Mob: 0437 379 391 Email:

Master Builders National Conference Date: 10 November - 12 November 2011 Venue: Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast Master Builders Australia is delighted to present the 2011 National Conference, “Building Australia” and you’re invited to join Master Builders from around Australia to be part of what will be the most exciting and rewarding building Industry event in 2011. The conference will be held on the Gold Coast at the award winning convention venue, Jupiters, from Thursday 10th to Saturday 12th of November.

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President's Message

President of Master Builders Association of the ACT, Ross Barrett

When I started in the industry, agreements were made on a handshake. A builder would carry out his work knowing that he would get paid for the agreed price. But the world changed, and I was soon to learn that if I wanted to secure my right to payment then I would need to enter into a written contract. Then the world changed again. Now, even a written contract will not secure payment for work carried out. Fortunately governments, all around Australia, have accepted industry submissions and enacted Security Of

This is particularly the case since the Security of Payment Act enables subcontractors to make a progress claim on a house builder. Yet a house builder is unable to make such a claim on a home owner. The results of a recent survey conducted by Master Builders in Queensland highlight the very serious impact that refusal to pay some, or all, of the funds due under a building contract, can have on builders. One-third of the businesses indicated that non-payment by consumers had a substantial impact on their business and for 12%, the impact was very substantial and threatened the

That is why Master Builders will now actively lobby the ACT Government to address the issues and impacts of nonpayment that weigh so heavily on house builders. At the same time however, Master Builders will amend its housing contract to provide for a fair speedy and final resolution of disputed claims. The new dispute resolution clause in the revised Master Builders contract will involve a two-step process. The first step will require any dispute to be referred to a domestic conciliator (where we think 80% of disputes will be resolved), but if this should prove unsuccessful, then

One-third of the businesses indicated that non-payment by consumers had a substantial impact on their business and for 12%, the impact was very substantial and threatened the viability of their business. Payment legislation giving contractors and subcontractors a statutory entitlement to receive, and be able to recover, progress payments for construction work carried out. The Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2009 now gives contractors and subcontractors who operate in a non-residential sector the same statutory rights as in other parts of Australia. The Master Builders Association of the ACT commends the ACT Government for this initiative. But why should such statutory rights not be extended to the residential sector? Surely cash flow issues impact on house builders just as much as builders who operate in the non residential sector?


viability of their business. I also know that there are many residential builders in the ACT who do not receive payment in full, as required by the terms of their contract. The impact of non-payment on house builders can be devastating for their businesses, depending on the sums of money involved. House builders are frequently required to pay significant amounts to materials suppliers and to various tradespeople, well before they receive payment from the homeowner. This causes many house builders (most being small businesses) significant cashflow problems.

the dispute will be referred to an expert for determination. The ACT’s authorised nominating authority, Adjudicate Today, will assist us in the administration of this new dispute resolution mechanism. So, whilst we lobby the ACT Government to provide similar legislative relief for house builders we, at the Master Builders, will be trialling a new dispute resolution model. Watch this space!


Bink Pavers is celebrating 50 years in the building and construction industry.

Bink Cement will this year celebrate 50 years of business in the Canberra and surrounding region. We believe in sustainable business practices which is why our raw materials are sourced locally and we manufacture locally. Bink Cement has the ability to supply all scale of projects from large commercial to smaller residential. We supply the building market, sand and soil yards as well as South-East NSW with our superiour products.


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Winner - Supplier of the Year

Architects requests are welcome



Quality Service I Commercial & Residential


26 April Thoroughbred Park - Free Entry Come and enjoy the day, catch up with Jack and the boys and cheer on the Gungahlin Jets AFL Sprinters!


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Executive Director's Message

Executive Director of Master Builders Association of the ACT, John Miller

Newly appointed planning minister, Simon Corbell recently conducted a second roundtable on building quality. The roundtable, committed to by Andrew Barr as the previous minister, was a follow up to last year’s extensive consultations and report to government in light of a significant media blitz from issues raised by the Owners Corporation Network. It was noted at the roundtable by the Minister that the issue of building quality, or at least sub-standard building quality,

without the imposition of mountains of additional legislation and regulation. We have suggested a number of options that could bring some quick resolution to the problems. These include inspections and checking of documentation at critical hold points during construction, improvements around supervision and in the event of an issue escalating, a dispute resolution system that is fair to all parties, expeditious and enforceable.

Minister Corbell has indicated that these groups will continue in conjunction with other work going on inside the bureaucracy. We will continue to participate and also have representation on a Building Regulation Advisory Committee (BRAC) to monitor proposals being considered in the Building Act rewrite. We don’t want to see any unnecessary complexity threaded into new legislation.

In far too many instances the reaction is to add more in terms of regulation and

The irony of the timing of this most recent roundtable and focus on quality

In far too many instances the reaction is to add more in terms of regulation and compliance and forget about the tools already at the disposal of authorities to deal with issues.


is viewed as the exception rather than the rule. This is certainly the view of Master Builders although it is recognised that there are issues that need to be addressed. The Owners Corporation Network itself is not questioning that the problems are an exception although they have voiced considerable concerns as to how deep the exception might be. A building quality survey being conducted and analysed by the Construction Services area of ACTPLA as part of the review should throw some light on the extent of the problem notwithstanding the need to carefully scrutinise the data collected.

compliance and forget about the tools already at the disposal of authorities to deal with issues. The ACT Government has committed to a rewrite of the Building Act and whilst this might hold some of the answers this exercise alone will not solve all of today’s problems. More so than reams of extra paperwork and forms, swift enforcement of available sanctions against proven serial offenders is a language better understood by many and will bring more into line. Equally, there needs to be accountability in terms of those found to be making vexatious and frivolous claims relating to building quality.

Our submission to the Minister at the roundtable discussed the need to look at ways to address some of the issues

Master Builders has been heavily involved in each of the four sub-groups established from last year’s roundtable.

is that again coincided with the Master Builder and Boral Excellence in Building Awards. The awards again proved that this industry has much more to be proud of than it has to defend. The finalists and ultimate winners highlighted on the night exemplified all that is great about the building and construction industry in Canberra and the region and that when it comes to innovation, dedication and finishing we can compete with the best. This has been proved by our performance on the national stage in recent years. I congratulate all of our winners and finalists and wish success for those in the running at the national awards to be held on the Gold Coast in November. Enjoy the feature in this edition from our night of nights.

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Industrial Relations Message

Director Industrial Relations, Master Builders Association of the ACT, Mike Baldwin

The Fair Work Act two years on – Is it a happy birthday? This month marks the second anniversary of the commencement of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Act). July 2009 marked the death of the previous government’s ‘WorkChoices’ regime and the implementation of a uniform, more cohesive national system covering the vast majority of Australia’s workforce. The coming of a national system was a much needed fundamental reform initially commenced under Howard, but finalised with the referral of the

management and labour; far from providing the template for twenty first century industrial relations has revealed itself to be something of a fossil in sandstone. In fact every day we find examples of a legislative regime that has hindered attempts at increased productivity; is overtly pro-collective bargaining, increasing union access to the point of severely impacting on productivity; has emboldened unions towards a strike first negotiate later mentality and has failed miserably on the question of good faith bargaining to name but a few flaws.

employers to consult with unions before any contractor or labor hire personnel are engaged. Further they also demand terms and conditions that are no less favourable to company employees. The impact of these clauses is a loss of flexibility and competiveness, surely anathema in a modern economy. Whilst Fair Work Australia has indicated that these types of clauses are allowable because they relate directly to the job security of existing employees, their impact is to further weaken the effectiveness of the National

In fact it is showing itself to be a legislative regime that has hindered attempts at increased productivity. state’s industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth under the current labor government. Its impact was to see partnerships, incorporated associations and sole traders, in addition to constitutional corporations subject to the national system. A national system of industrial relations is a good thing. It was talked about for a century and its time had come. As was the coming of modern awards, where previously business was dealing with over 400 federal and state awards, we now utilise approximately 124. Subject to a successful education programme and the usual argy bargy over particular clauses, the process can be said at the very least to be a reasonable success. The Act however is a different issue. The day to day workings of the legislation, far from encouraging productivity; far from restoring the balance between 10

What remains to be done? Reform is essential if we are to address any of these concerns. Two fundamental areas of concern stand out amongst numerous others that also deserve our attention.

Construction Code (the Code), which was an essential reform of the Howard years that must be maintained . 2. Employees may strike to before commencing bargaining

1. Any enterprise agreement clauses that restrict engagement of contractors and labour hire workers ought to be statute barred.

In the recent JJ Richards decision, a Full Bench of FWA ruled that where an employer refuses to bargain, employees can bypass the good faith bargaining requirements by moving straight to protected industrial action.

Under the previous legislation there existed specific provisions which prevented enterprise agreements from including terms restricting the use of contractors and labor hire personnel. Under the new Act we now see unions inserting clauses which directly restrict this form of engagement in the construction industry. These so called ’job security’ clauses now require

Legally, it is doubtful that the decisions can be challenged. However, it is unlikely that the Government intended that protected industrial action should be available to compel employers to bargain, given the suite of other equally effective but less disruptive tools available to employees under the Act, which require parties to bargain in good faith.

However, while the current Act remains unchanged, the practical message to employers is clear: they should actively engage in bargaining proposed by employees. Any refusal to do so will not stop protected industrial action and may even prevent employers from taking their own industrial responses, such as ‘lockouts’. The outcome of this case ensures the necessity of further reform. If employees are able to strike before bargaining has commenced, then any proposed agreement will be negotiated under economic duress, rather than in good faith. Surely the dynamics of this so called ‘bargain’ are all wrong. There are important reasons why this should be the case. If the parties do not commence negotiations prior to protected industrial action taking place, it will be difficult to assess whether the industrial action was taken in pursuit of matters permitted to be in an enterprise agreement.

Conclusion Here are but two illustrations that demonstrate the weakness of the Act. Others abound, the need for continued reform is obvious and the Master Builders Association (ACT) will continue to press the Government, until then, I fear the birthday cake will have to wait.

ABCC Commissioner commends Master Builders publication. The issue of ‘Sham Contracting’ is a very important issue within the industry and members from all sectors of the Master Builders – Commercial Builders, Subcontractors, Civil Contractors, Residential Builders and Professional members attended a presentation in June with ABCC commissioner Leigh Johns. At the information session Mr Johns commended the Master Builders on the Guide to Subcontracting publication and directly referred to sections within the publication during his address. If you would like a copy of the Guide to Subcontracting please contact Mike Baldwin on 6175 5919. The Master Builders (ACT) wish to thank Meyer Vandenberg for their generous support of the Guide to Subcontracting.

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Proposed changes to the Planning Codes will undoubtedly have cost implications (DV306) Master Builders, in consultation with our Professional Sector Council members, will be forwarding a submission on DV306 and the closing date for comments is Tuesday 2 August 2011. By Jerry Howard, Deputy Executive Director A review of the policies proposed by draft variations 301 and 303 was undertaken by the 2010 Territory Plan Code Review Reference Group which was set up by irection of the Minister for Planning. Draft variation 306 supersedes the above draft variations that are now withdrawn. In response to submissions and the recommendations of the reference group, a number of changes and refinements to the codes were made. The following is a brief summary of the key changes. A reformatted Estate Development Code: The Estate Development Code has been reformatted to reinforce the particular role played by ACT government agencies in the design and assessment of new estates, whilst providing certainty to applicants on agency requirements. Agency endorsement is now separate from planning aspects which are largely the responsibility of ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA). ACTPLA and government agencies, particularly Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS), continue to work together to ensure that the Estate Development Code reflects community needs for public open space and includes relevant engineering, design and landscaping standards. Dual occupancy in RZ1: The draft Multi Unit Housing Development Code released under DV303 reduced the current 800m2 minimum block size for dual occupancy in RZ1 to 700m2. The latest draft retains the current 800m2 minimum block size. Secondary residences: The draft Residential Zones Development Code released under DV303 provided for a second, relatively small dwelling to be provided on a block that already has a single house. The maximum floor area


for a secondary residence has been increased to 75m2, mainly to ensure that the dwelling can be readily adapted to suit a resident with special needs. This was a policy proposal put forward and endorsed by Master Builders Remodellers in 2007. There are still some issues to be resolved regarding the BA process and the classification of such type structures.

the draft Multi Unit Housing Development Code for this zone now includes the following provisions

Student accommodation: Student accommodation, which was proposed as a distinct form of development in residential zones under the draft Residential Zones Development Code, has been dropped. This particular housing form is best suited to commercial rather than residential zones. In residential zones, accommodation for students will be adequately covered by secondary residences and other forms of permissible multi unit housing.

• for residential redevelopment comprising two or more dwellings, the minimum site area for each dwelling is 350m2 for up to five dwellings and 250m2 for the sixth and each subsequent dwelling

Integrated housing development: To foster innovation in housing design whilst protecting residential amenity and solar efficiency, the concept of an integrated housing development parcel has been added to the draft Estate Development Code. This allows for the creation of two or more single dwelling blocks that are tied to an approved integrated housing proposal. If approved, the key components of the proposed housing, such as party walls, will be uplifted to the relevant suburban precinct code. This means that all subsequent development within the parcel must comply with the precinct code and the Single Dwelling Housing Development Code. A range of housing types are suited to this policy, including two storey terrace housing where each house has its own block. Residential redevelopment in RZ2: This was the most contentious zone and

• no building will contain more than four dwellings • buildings containing two or more dwellings on the same block must be separated by at least at least four metres

• Consolidation of blocks is only permitted where the resulting block has a continuous street frontage • No more than four surface car parking spaces can be grouped together and groups of parking spaces must be separated by at least four metres. Slightly higher density is allowed where the dwellings are to be used for supportive housing or housing that is adaptable. More detail on the design and density are provided in the draft code. Some of the provisions in the draft code will have interim effect from 3 June 2011, but will not apply to development applications already lodged or proposals that have applied for a development application completeness check before this date. Dwelling replacement policy: In response to public submissions, a provision has been included in the Multi Unit Housing Development Code requiring a minimum number of larger dwellings to Be included in any multi unit housing redevelopment. This proposal seeks to Maintain the number of dwellings suitable for families in a neighbourhood, for the

Ventilation: Natural ventilation provisions found in the Residential Zones Multi Unit Housing Development Code have been reintroduced in the draft Multi Unit Housing Development Code. These provisions apply to buildings containing three or more dwellings and require the applicant to demonstrate an adequate level of natural ventilation is provided.

The major policy change is the introduction of solar access provisions that limit overshadowing of neighbouring residential properties. In addition, amendments to the Building Code of Australia from 1 July 2010 will require all new single dwelling houses to achieve an energy rating equivalent to at least a sixstar energy rating. This will strongly encourage passive solar design because direct access to sunlight is a cost-effective pathway to achieving this level of energy efficiency.


Who can occupy a secondary residence?

Height of buildings: The provisions limiting the number of storeys in a building have been revised. Whilst the limitation on the number of storeys is retained at two for RZ3, three for RZ4 and between three and six (depending on adjoining land use) for RZ5, the draft code allows for departures if the associated criterion is satisfied, but only up to specified overall building height.

Single Dwelling Housing Development Code: A new Single Dwelling Housing Development Code is proposed to replace the current Residential Zones Single Dwelling Housing Development Code. All rules and criteria have been reviewed and many re-worded for clarity and consistency.

Currently there are restrictions on who can occupy a ‘habitable suite’ or ‘relocatable unit’. However, in the new provision anyone can occupy a secondary residence. A resident does not need to be related to the occupants of the principal dwelling, nor do they need to be under any particular type of care. A secondary residence needs to be easily adaptable for people with special needs (such as the aged or those with a disability).

Adaptability of dwellings for use by disabled persons: Rule 50 of the Multi Unit Housing Development Code requires a specified number of dwellings in a multi unit housing development to be adaptable under the relevant Australian standard (AS 4299, class C). Under the current Residential Zones Multi Unit Housing Development Code, the equivalent provision is mandatory ie. there is no related criterion. A criterion was included in the draft code released under DV303, such that departures could be considered if the proposal is shown to be consistent with the Access and Mobility General Code. After further consideration it is proposed to again make rule 50 mandatory.

There can be only one secondary residence on a block and the block must be a minimum of 500m2. The total floor area of a secondary residence must be at least 40m2 and no more than 75m2. Sharing facilities such as storage and laundry with the primary residence can be considered. A secondary residence needs to meet the requirements of the Single Dwelling Housing Development Code such as plot ratio, height, setback and building envelope. There is a requirement to provide a parking space for the secondary residence to meet the parking needs of the current and future residents.

Benefit of those families and the community services provided in the locality. At least one dwelling with three or more bedrooms is required for each block that makes up a development parcel. For example, a development parcel formed by the consolidation of three blocks must include not fewer than three dwellings with three or more bedrooms – one for each original block. If consolidation is not involved, at least one of the proposed dwellings in a redevelopment must have three or more bedrooms. This policy does not apply to single houses or to supportive housing.

Provisions in the draft code that limit the overshadowing of residential blocks will facilitate passive solar design.


Petrol, small business and taxes impacted under Carbon Price changes.

Government’s Carbon Price announcement The Government’s 10 July Carbon Price announcement included a number of matters likely to impact on the building industry. Carbon pricing itself will affect the cost of many business inputs including materials, cement and electricity. But a number of other measures were announced in conjunction with the carbon price. Many of these affect small business and personal tax payers, and are not essentially Carbon Price measures but rather Tax Reforms (including some recommended in the 2010 Henry Tax Review).

Overview Under the Government’s Carbon Price scheme – called Securing a Clean Energy Future – around 500 of the biggest polluters in Australia will need to buy and surrender to the Government a permit for every tonne of carbon pollution they produce. For the first three years, the carbon price will be fixed like a tax, before moving to an emissions trading scheme in 2015. In the fixed price stage, starting on 1 July 2012, the carbon price will start at $23 a tonne, rising at 2.5 per cent a year in real terms. From 1 July 2015, the carbon price will be set by the market. The carbon price will be accompanied by assistance which the Government says will support households, jobs, businesses and communities, to help them adjust, lower their carbon pollution and to protect our international competitiveness. To assist households with price impacts, there will be two rounds of tax cuts and increases in pensions, allowances and benefits. In an associated tax administration measure, more than 1 million people will no longer need to file a tax return.

Personal Tax Reform As part of the Carbon Price announcement, personal income tax


will be reformed, freeing over 1 million people from tax payments and the need to file tax returns by increases in the tax-free threshold. Income tax will be cut by raising the tax-free threshold so that, initially, up to 1 million people will no longer need to file a tax return. From 2015, a second phase of tax reform will mean that up to an additional 100,000 people will not have to file a tax return. The tax-free threshold will be more than trebled to $18,200 in 2012-13. From 2015, the tax-free threshold will be further raised to $19,400. When combined with the low income tax offset (LITO), people will not pay net tax until their income exceeds $20,542. From 1 July 2012, all taxpayers earning up to $80,000 a year will receive a tax cut, with most getting at least $300 annually. A second round of tax cuts will apply from 1 July 2015, increasing this annual saving for most taxpayers earning below $80,000 a year to at least $380.

Small business The Carbon Pricing mechanism will not apply to small business. Small businesses will not have to count or monitor their carbon pollution or electricity use. While most small businesses will not directly pay the Carbon Price, the Government will extend the Small Business Instant

Asset Write-Off Threshold to $6,500. For businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $2 million a year, the small business instant asset writeoff threshold will be increased from $5,000 to $6,500 for depreciable assets from the 2012-13 income year.

Transport and fuel Households, on-road business use of light vehicles and the agriculture, forestry and fishery industries will not face a Carbon Price on the fuel they use for transport.

Some businesses which currently pay no fuel excise will face an effective carbon price, through changes to the current fuel excise fuel tax credit regime. Heavy on-road vehicles will not face a Carbon Price at the commencement of the scheme in July 2012 but the Government intends to apply a Carbon Price on heavy on-road vehicles from 1 July 2014. However this has not been agreed to by the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee with which the Government negotiated the Carbon Price agreement and further negotiations will be necessary on this issue.

On-road use by households and light commercial vehicles Households and on-road commercial vehicles 4.5 tonnes and under currently pay the full rate of excise. They will continue to pay excise (but will not also pay a carbon price on top of this.)

Off-road business use Businesses which currently pay no excise on the fuel they use off-road because it is offset under the fuel tax credits scheme will pay an effective Carbon Price through reduced fuel tax

credit entitlements and reductions to the automatic remission of excise on gaseous fuel used for nontransport purposes.

ACT Government

Perhaps one of the greatest achievements of the Hawke Review of the ACT Public Service is the establishment of a “one stop shop” for business. The new Economic Development Directorate (EDD) incorporates Business and Industry Development, Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Major Events, Business Migration, land release and development – all economic drivers for the Territory.

For example, one of our responsibilities will be to foster skills training and development. We will work closely with industry to ensure appropriate levels of training are provided, particularly on governmentfunded capital works. The Government has adopted a policy of ensuring that at least 10 per cent of the employees required for the planned Government Office Building in Civic are apprentices and trainees. And it is already engaged in discussions

In addition, the Economic Development Directorate, in conjunction with the LDA, will be delivering about $1.3 billion in capital works over the next four years.


By David Dawes, Director-General Economic Development Directorate

The EDD’s own capital works program will total $670 million and will include arterial roadworks, swimming pools and start on the Government Office Building in Civic. The LDA will spend $800 million on capital works within their estates. Of course, this means the Economic Development Directorate will be a major source of capital works for industry, so

Training and education are of prime concern to people with an interest in our building industry. Of course, there are also concerns about the availability of land and of the need for certainty in civil works programs. And importantly, the directorate has been more closely aligned with the Land Development Agency (LDA) under new administrative arrangements announced by the ACT Government. These arrangements will see: •

The LDA’s Governing Board retained with its existing responsibilities under the current chairman, eminent civil engineer Ray Young; The Director-General of the EDD concurrently appointed by the LDA Board as the Chief Executive Officer of the LDA; A Statement of Governance arrangement to formalise the relationship between the LDA and EDD; and A commitment to balance economic, social and environmental concerns in future land development.

These changes will strengthen and consolidate government while bringing many other opportunities.

with other arms of government with a view to seeing that training opportunities are offered to our young people on all government projects. Another example is our work to establish a civil engineering degree. We are currently in discussions with Canberra University to try to establish a civil engineering course so that we can grow our own locally. Training and education are of prime concern to people with an interest in our building industry. Of course, there are also concerns about the availability of land and of the need for certainty in civil works programs. The ACT Government has significantly increased the supply of land to market. In the last financial year, we delivered 5048 dwelling sites – the biggest number since self government in 1989.

we will work closely to ensure industry has the capacity to deliver the program. Working collaboratively with industry is essential because we recognise that companies need long-term certainty to be able to buy equipment and hire staff and expertise with confidence. While wanting to work closely with the building industry, the new Economic Development Directorate will be pursuing options for diversifying and growing our economy. Many companies have had considerable success in service industries. One of our principal focuses will be identifying better ways of harnessing opportunities for growth and diversification.

We expect to deliver more this financial year – and a total of 18,500 over the next four years. We will be releasing land on six fronts – Jacka, Moncrieff, Molonglo, Lawson, Eastlake and Kenny.


Majura Parkway Go-Ahead. The Federal Government has announced it will provide $144 million towards the cost of the Majura Parkway, matching the ACT Government’s contribution for the major roadway dollarfor-dollar. The Majura Parkway project will create an 11.5 kilometre long duplicated road with seven bridges and three interchanges at the intersections with Fairbairn Avenue, Federal Highway and Monaro Highway.

Long term Infrastructure Plan


The ACT Government has unveiled its infrastructure priorities for the next 10 years. The Infrastructure Plan 2011-2021 includes major capital works spending as outlined in the recent budget.

Construction of the long-awaited $288 million project will commence next year and is expected to be completed in 2016. The project will replace the existing Majura Road as the freight bypass around the centre of Canberra.

The big ticket items in the 10 year Plan include the $432 million Government Office Building, forward funding for the Canberra Hospital redevelopment and new services for the Molonglo Valley.

The ACT Government has allocated $144 million from 2012 to fund the first two years of the project which will link the Monaro and Federal highways.

The document was updated just before its release to include the Federal Government’s decision to match the ACT’s spending on the Majura Parkway.

The contract for the first stage of works will be let in mid-2012.

The blueprint contains few surprises but Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said it provides long term certainty for the business community. ACT Treasurer Andrew Barr says the plan also includes important local spending on schools, roads, community health centres and water supplies. “In terms of infrastructure spending, what we’ve seen in the last three or four budgets, really is the peak of investment in Gungahlin.

The NRMA has welcomed the Majura Parkway announcement but wants the construction time halved. “Recommended by Infrastructure Australia and set to be built with monies from our Building Australia Fund, the Majura Parkway will make it easier for Canberrans to get around their city as well as taking trucks off local streets,” Federal Infrastructure Minister Tony Albanese said. “Construction of this new road is an investment in Canberra’s future, with Infrastructure Australia putting its long term economic, social and environmental benefits at close to $1 billion.” ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said the Majura Parkway will see increased accessibility for motorists from Canberra’s north into the city and southern suburbs, as well as an improved distribution of freight traffic.

“There are still a number of projects that need to be completed but our attention in the future has to turn to the Molonglo Valley, and that’s the new development front for the ACT.” Deputy Opposition leader Brendan Smyth said Mr Barr’s comments were revealing. “What Andrew Barr is saying to the people of Gungahlin is that this is as good as it gets.” Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur said there was too much focus on building and extending roads, and very little on public transport.

“This project of national significance will benefit Canberra as a freight hub and Australia’s national capital, but will also improve commute times in and out of Canberra on a daily basis for thousands of people who live and work in the ACT,” Ms Gallagher said.

In her foreword to the Plan Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said, “town centres and villages are core elements of our local communities and require sustained effort to rejuvenate and maintain their amenity.”

Shortly before the announcement, Infrastructure Australia released its annual report to COAG, ‘Communicating the Imperative for Action’, including an updated ‘Infrastructure Priority List’ which listed Majura Parkway as ‘ready to proceed’.

She said the Plan “explores options for closer alignment between longer term infrastructure prioritisation and existing processes. It also discusses opportunities and mechanisms to better integrate climate change considerations into infrastructure development and maintenance.

As a condition of funding, the report suggested that Majura Parkway be tolled, “with a view to ensuring that a reasonable proportion of capital costs, and all of the road’s operational and maintenance costs, are recovered through tolls.” However, both the ACT and Australian Governments have ruled out a toll.


The Plan is available on the Chief Minister’s website at:

Audit Tool


Compliance with Industrial Relations and Employment Obligations Strategy for ACT Government Capital Works Projects.

The ACT Government has established a new Certification and Audit Strategy for industrial relations compliance on ACT Government capital works projects. Following this if a contractor is contracted to undertake a project, their compliance and that of all of their subcontractors may at random be audited for industrial relations compliance by an approved auditor. This will be done at the Territory’s expense. Contractors will be provided with notice of an impending audit. A list of Approved Auditors responsible for assessing applications by contractors for IRE Certificates and random Project Compliance Audits of contractors is available on the Shared Services Procurement website under prequalification. The list will be updated as and when new auditors apply and are assessed as suitable. The aim of the Strategy is to improve workplace and management culture in the ACT construction sector, to promote better employer and employee relationships and improve industrial relations planning and management at both the enterprise level and on specific projects. The Strategy was implemented on 1 July 2011. It applies to all firms wishing to do business with the ACT Government and who fall within the definition of “building work” in section 5 of the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 (Cth), that is, it does not apply to single dwelling housing construction, repair and restoration. It is intended that contractors will need to hold an Industrial Relations Employment (IRE) Certificate to work on ACT Government projects by 1 January 2012. In order to obtain a certificate of compliance, contractors will need to have an approved auditor audit their compliance and report to the ACT Government to issue the certificate. This will be at the contractor’s expense. This will be required to be in place at the time of tender and contract award (for projects after 1 January 2012).

See: industrial_relations A full set of the documentation is available on the website. Shared Services Procurement will be conducting information sessions over the coming months. Contractors are also welcome to telephone the Manager, Prequalification on 62075982 or set up a meeting with the Manager, Prequalification or the Executive Director, Shared Services Procurement to discuss the process in person. The ACT Government recognises that the construction industry is a major contributor to the Territory’s economy providing significant employment opportunities to people living in the Territory and the surrounding region. As the ACT Government is a significant client of the construction industry, it is concerned that employees/workers undertaking those activities under the contracts it lets are dealt with fairly, appropriately and ethically under the law.


Brown Consulting moves Canberra operations On 23 June, Brown Consulting celebrated the relocation of its Canberra operations to an eco-efficient building in the city centre. More than 100 clients, guests and staff attended the official opening of the new office, which is located at 121 Marcus Clarke Street, a 5 Star Green Star Building.

“We recognise that the ACT is an expanding region and our move to larger premises is evidence of our confidence in this growing market,” said Mr Bomben.

Brown Consulting’s State Manager – ACT/NSW, Max Bomben, explained the move was in response to the firm’s considerable growth in the ACT in recent years.

Brown Consulting’s 37 year presence in Canberra means that the business has significant local knowledge and a strong network of industry contacts.

“The Canberra office has experienced significant growth over the last four years. We are now a team of 45 professionals and are set to expand to more than 65 over the next few years,” said Mr Bomben.

“Through our land development projects we have helped build homes and places for people to work. Through our major road and civic works we have helped connect the city,” said Mr Bomben.

“Relocating our operations was essential to ensure that we continue to provide the exemplary service our clients have come to expect and to retain the best possible talent.” While looking to the future, the company also acknowledges its long history in Canberra. Over the last 37 years, Brown Consulting has helped deliver land development projects, major road upgrades and civil infrastructure works throughout Canberra and the surrounding region. As the city has grown, so has Brown Consulting.


Currently, the Canberra team is working on a range of major land development, roads & traffic and water & environment projects which include: •

Ngunnawal 2C Estate – 495 dwellings

Googong Township – 6000 dwellings

Cooma Road Upgrade

Horse Park Drive Extension

Jerrabomberra Wetlands

National Botanical Gardens Trunk Drainage.

The firm recently merged with PDR Smart Structures, a Sydney based structural engineering firm. Via the merger with Smart Structures, Brown Consulting will be in a position to expand its services in Canberra to offer structural engineering. “Whilst we can already do this via our Brisbane and Melbourne based teams, with 20 structural engineers based in our Sydney office we’ll have additional capacity to provide these services into the ACT marketplace.” Brown Consulting is an Australian-headquartered company with more than 300 staff and offices in Australia and Singapore. The firm’s service offering spans urban development, roads and traffic, environmental and structural engineering as well as town planning and land surveying.


“I look forward to continuing to partner with our clients and contributing to the development of the region,” he said.

Brown Consulting also recently completed the design for the duplication of the Monaro Highway from Newcastle Street to Canberra Avenue, an $18 million project. With the Monaro Highway set to become a major freight route, the duplication will cater for future traffic predictions of35,000 vehicles per day.

This Page: (Right) Canberra client function – Official opening 23 June 2011. (Main Picture) - The new eco friendly office. Opposite Page : (Main Picture) - The new office in Canberra City. (Bottom)Max Bomben (Brown Consulting), Ian Mills (Land Development Agency) and Paul Scholtens (DSB Landscape Architects).

“I look forward to continuing to partner with our clients and contributing to the development of the region” - Max Bomben


BLACKETT HOMES CELEBRATING 30 YEARS Blackett Homes this year celebrates 30 years of operating within the Canberra residential construction sector; an anniversary which will also mark their 30 years of Master Builders membership.

The team at Blackett Homes is well-renowned in Canberra not only for their high quality work, but for their contribution to the wider industry via their active participation in events, lobbying, sector councils and more. The deputy executive director of Master Builders ACT, Jerry Howard highlights the invaluable role Blackett Homes play by generously donating their time and expertise to the advancement of the residential building and construction industry. “Not only have Blackett Homes as a company made a significant contribution to the building industry over the past 30 years, but I would personally like to acknowledge the enormous contribution that David Howarth has made to the industry in giving up his valuable time as a Chair of the Residential Builders Council over many years,” he said. The company began in 1981 as a joint venture between brothers, Stephen and David Howarth. Both brothers were already working within the construction industry when they conceived the plan to strike out on their own, joined by David’s wife Marilyn. “I’d always had a desire to do my own thing and Marilyn was very supportive,” says David “Stephen was studying architectural drafting and we were confident we could make it work. We both had vast experience and thought it would be quite an achievement to gain this new experience. Blackett Constructions was born and we’ve never looked back”. 20

Extremely passionate about Occupational Health & Safety standards and the safety of both their workers and clients, Blackett Homes have AS4801 and F.S.C. O.H.&S. certification. The team managed to achieve F.S.C. certification on their very first attempt, something which has not been achieved by any other building company in Australia. “The safety and wellbeing of our workers is of paramount importance to us” says David. Since its conception, Blackett Homes has gone from strength to strength and built itself a highly reputable name within Canberra. As well as leaving a trail of extremely satisfied clients behind them, Blackett Homes consistently produce award-winning results including taking out the Master Builders awards for Residential Builder of the Year in 2006, House of the Year in 2006, as well as over 40 other major building awards. Also in 2006, Blackett Homes experienced great success at a National level, taking out the awards for National Project (Contract) Home - $500,000 to $1m, as well as the prestigious title of National Builder of the Year. At the most recent Master Builders & Boral Excellence in Building Awards, Blackett Homes took the award for Display Home less than $300,000; a job which displays an exceptional standard of workmanship as well as representing great value for money. Over the past 30 years, Blackett Homes has built over 2,000 homes, apartments and townhouses in Canberra and the surrounding region.

“We’re fortunate that we’ve been able to do what we do here in Canberra, which is without question the best city in the world. We have so much to look forward to and be grateful for,” he said. “There’s no question that business can be tough but the rewards are there if you stick at it and use all the talents at your disposal.” The future is bright for family-owned Blackett Homes, with Matthew Howarth as construction manager and Geoff Howarth as contracts manager, the business promises to continue to grow and prosper along with Canberra. However, the core values of this family business will remain the same; being a focus on maintaining high levels of respect and care for all staff, clients, subcontractors and suppliers.

Award-winning Over the years, Blackett Homes have been recognised with numerous award wins for their professionalism and high quality work.

2006 Master Builders House of the Year

Custom Built Home $500,000 - $750,000

Residential Internal Finishes – Painting (Get Real Painting)

Kitchen Design and Construction – More than $20,000 (Kitchenlink)


“We know Canberra and Canberrans – simple as that,” says David, who named the company after Blackett Street in Downer where he grew up. “Canberra homeowners want quality design and quality construction. Designing and building a new house is as much about creating a lifestyle as it is about putting up a building.” Displaying a great affection for the city they live in and a commitment to the industry, Blackett Homes plan to stick around for the next 30 years and beyond.

This sophisticated home was praised for its innovative design, as well as the superb workmanship and attention to detail evident throughout. The large, custom-made skylight is a stunning feature of the entry, filling the space with natural light. Corner windows and large folding doors have been designed to create a visual link from the interior rooms to the surrounding gardens and pool area. The formal and informal living zones are separated, and the kitchen is centrally located to both areas. Each of these spaces is distinctly different in style – one modern and the other classic. In the same year at the National Master Builders Awards, Blackett Homes won National Project (Contract) Home $500,000 to $1m as well as taking the highly-esteemed award for Master Builders National Residential Builder of the Year, a testament to their exceptional dedication to quality and passion for their work. “I would like to thank our staff for their tireless efforts in making our company what it is today and we look forward to achieving great things in the future,” says David.

In 2006, one particularly spectacular home in Campbell, built in conjunction with Architects Ring & Associates, took away multiple award wins for many elements of its design and construction. These awards included:

This page: 2006 House of the Year (L) & Kitchen design & construction more than $20,000 (R) Opposite Page: David Howarth receiving the 2006 National Residential Builder of the Year Award, 2006 House of the Year (R), David Howarth circa 1991(inset).


HOMES FOR THE WORKERS The History of the Narrabundah pre-fabs Released in June, the book ‘Homes for the Workers’ had its origins when a group of early settlers in the pre-fabs area formed the Narrabundah Pre-fabs History Group and began to plan a way of documenting the history of what the group believed was an innovative public housing project and a unique part of Canberra’s urban history and heritage. The group got underway in late 2009 and invited local author and historian Alan Foskett (who along with former Master Builders ED David Andrew and Phil Johnstone penned ‘on Solid Foundations’ for Master Builders in 2001) to write and coordinate the production of the book. Planning of the Narrabundah pre-fabs commenced in 1946 and between 1947 and 1952 the Commonwealth Government built 364 demountable homes in what, at that time, was Canberra’s outlying southern

Below - Aerial view of the Narrabundah pre-fabs back in the 1950s


suburb of Narrabundah. The basic family homes, located on land between Matina Street and Kootara Crescent, were prefabricated at the Rhodes (Sydney) factory of Tulloch Engineering, the frames railed to

Canberra and erected on prepared footings. Contractor John Grant & Sons built the first 180 pre-fabs, with Simmic & Company a later contractor.

The purpose of the project was to attract to Canberra families where the breadwinner was a building industry tradesman or worker, at a time when there were critical shortages of materials, labour and accommodation. It was an outstanding success in meeting the objective. Some of the men worked for contractor Howie Moffat at ANU’s University House project. Because the authorities believed the pre fabs would have a very short life span, the streets were named one to twentyfirst streets. Some sixty years on there remain some 80 of the original pre fabs and the streets have been given real names!

The pre-fab families who came from the United Kingdom, from many other European countries and from diverse parts of Australia formed a tight knit and supportive community as the many family stories included in the book, confirm. They were among the pioneers of post World War ll Canberra and were viewed with the same pioneering spirit as those families of the twenties and thirties who lived in the temporary family settlements of Molonglo, Westlake, Causeway and Russell Hill. Their life in early Narrabundah coincided with those other pioneers, the single men, many from overseas, who came to live in the workmen’s hostels at Capital Hill, Hillside, Turner, Ainslie, Fairbairn, Eastlake and Riverside.

As time went by and the pre-fabs community grew and demanded the provision of services the authorities became concerned at what they thought was turning out to be a far from temporary part of Canberra’s urban landscape. Trees were planted to hide the pre-fabs from Canberra Avenue’s passing parade and the bureaucrats referred to ‘slums’ and ‘social stigma’.


Right - An original pre-fab today Far Right - The pre-fabs in the 1950s

The National Capital Development Commission’s Narrabundah Regeneration Project was implemented in the early eighties when many of the original houses were demolished and replaced by brick cottages.


Building Contracts.

A relationship worth maintaining effectively. By Jason Grieves, Technical Services Manager

than to agree to a contract that will impose onerous requirements on your business in settling a contractual dispute.

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Late last month the ACT Master Builders hosted a seminar on Building contracts. The seminar was presented by Lawyers from Myer Vandenberg and covered topics from the commencement of the building period through variations, payments and extensions of time to the end of the maintenance period. It was a well delivered seminar by Michael Wasef and Alisa Taylor, however, given the amount of calls the Master Builders fields in relation to contractual disputes, it was a little disappointing that the number of attendees was low. A seminar like this is invaluable when there are a number of builders and contractors involved in contractual disputes that amount to the possible loss of thousands of dollars and this is before the payment of legal representatives or loss of productivity is taken into account. It is essential in reducing potential disputes that, before signing a contract to undertake building work for a client, there is a detailed set of plans and specifications in order to provide a realistic quote and scope of works for the project. It is advisable that both parties spend time together and work through understanding these documents before signing a contract. If a builder finds that the client’s expectations regarding design, cost or time frames for the proposed project are not realistic or unachievable, then do not enter into the contract. It is better to leave without a contract 24

Should the documents and your client’s expectations be achievable and you sign a contract, then you have not just signed a contract but you have entered into a business relationship with your client. In entering this relationship, as the builder, you need to understand your contractual obligations and your client’s obligations. As the licensed builder, you will clearly understand your responsibilities for the building process, however, your client may have a very limited understanding of the requirements of achieving the final outcome. Contact with your client doesn’t end after the contracts are signed. Take the initiative and assist your new business relationship with effective ongoing communication. Whilst the Master Builders ACT Home Building Contract is designed and written for ease of administration by both parties, I would suggest you help your client throughout the construction period. It is reasonable to expect a lot of questions from your client during construction of the project as it is likely that this may be your client’s first building experience. I would advise that during the project you provide your client with the appropriate time to explain and address their questions with a view of reducing misunderstandings and disputes. It is prudent to have regular contact with your client and provide updates throughout the construction period. It may be as simple as a letter to confirm the program is running as per schedule. I would advise more strongly that all variations, extensions of times and progress payments are dealt with in accordance with your contract. Do not fall into the trap of agreeing to variations to the contract on verbal instruction from your client. Always insist on a signed variation before commencing the extra work and follow the instruction immediately with a written extension of time and an explanation, if the variation will

extend the construction period. The explanation will help your client understand the reason for the request and provide them with some understanding into your process and role. At the practical completion stage of the project, spend time with your client and conduct a thorough walk-through the project and complete and sign off on agreed works to be completed to achieve practical completion. Final payment does not finalise your contractual obligations as you will still have obligations under the defects liability period. Attend to this list as soon as practicable. It is also good practice to send your client a reminder a week or so before the defects liability period ends to prompt notification of any defects. Again, if any items exist, attend to these without delay and remember clause 25(c) which states you complete the list within 15 days. I have heard clients complain that they are still waiting for completion over 12 months of providing the list to the builder. This is far from acceptable. I understand nobody sets out with the goal of entering a contract to end it in a legal battle and I hope the following above points are of assistance. As the builder, you know how to build and complete a project. Your client has put a lot of trust in you to help bring their investment to life and achieve their goal/dream. It will also help for you to understand that your client knows very little about the process and it would be beneficial if you could assist them in understanding your processes. Having a good working relationship with your client makes the project run smoothly, but this is a business transaction so it is important to ensure everything is in writing and in accordance with your contract. Last but certainly not least - should a misunderstanding occur, deal with the issue immediately and don’t let it simmer away and become unmanageable. Who knows, maybe by following some of the above points, you may receive referral work.



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SITE SECURED Burglars beware. How Leader Security Had Ten Arrests in Two Nights on Canberra Construction Sites? Construction Security Specialists Leader Security applied their Virtual Security Systems to two Canberra construction sites following a spate of break-ins resulting in considerable loss. Within one week of the installation infrared cameras detected six people entering a Greenway site and the following night four people entering a site in Braddon. Dedicated Leader K9 Units were immediately deployed and within minutes arrested both groups on both nights.


Leader Security is the first Canberra security provider to specialise in the protection of construction sites. Their Virtual Security packages are an affordable and effective way of securing your project. The aftermath and cost of poor security doesn’t just stop at damage to property; think about the hidden damages like damage to your reputation? Failure to deliver a project on time or failure to mitigate the risks can be costly, time is money and we all have limited time. Leader Security understand the risks and have the solution.

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Chris Blanchard – Bovis Lend Lease

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Wireless technology means no wires and total flexibility to move the system around your site and provide maximum security as it evolves, it also means it can easily be moved from site to site as one project finishes and a new one commences. The system utilises an infrared inbuilt camera to record and stream footage the instant an intruder or intruders enter site. For Leader response teams it means they can be informed of exactly how many persons are on site so they can tailor their response accordingly.

Contact Leader Security Leader Security Pty Ltd Unit 2/68 Dacre Street Mitchell ACT 2911 PO Box 755 Mitchell ACT 2911 Ph 1300 312 227 Fax (02) 6255 6665


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Another solid increase in housing finance in May suggests that a stable interest rate environment is working to turn consumer confidence around and sparking a recovery in housing, according to peak building and construction organisation Master Builders Australia. Mr Peter Jones, Chief Economist, said, “The latest figures are encouraging as eight months of interest rate stability begins to ease household caution, sparking a much needed turnaround in housing activity.” Mr Jones said, “Importantly, for the residential building industry, the figures show that finance for ‘new’ dwellings and investment lending both picked up in May.”


“Loans for construction of dwellings and purchase of new dwellings, combined, were up 5.7 per cent in May, still down 6 per cent on a year ago, but beginning to show signs that interest rates stability is working to engender an upswing in residential building.” He said, “Despite the improvement seen in recent housing finance numbers the pace of recovery following the decline suffered in 2009-10 is likely to be slow given the headwinds still facing the industry.” He said, “Still suffering lingering effects of the credit squeeze, the interest rate sensitive residential building industry is relying on an extended pause in Reserve Bank monetary policy to shore up consumer confidence and encourage an upswing in housing commitments.”


“In an overarching sense, the weak underlying level of housing finance must be of concern to the Federal Government, as it signals that the residential building industry will be unable to meet the serious undersupply of housing that has arisen, thereby risking higher rents and house prices as more people chase less stock.” He said, “There is an urgent need for governments of all persuasion to address supply side policy failures, otherwise there will be dire consequences for housing affordability.” Master Builders will continue to push for the need to address inefficient developer charges, land release regulations and the approvals process as part of reforms to remove impediments affecting the supply of housing.

3. Now in its 10th year, the Kids Assist Program is a continuing Master Builders Group Training initiative giving year 10 students who are at risk of not completing high school the opportunity to gain first hand experience in the construction industry. 1. BBQ project at Belconnen High - Students from Belconnen, Melba, Copland & Kaleen High Schools can be very proud of their lasting gift to Belconnen High. 2. Anzac Garden Memorial at Campbell High School - the Campbell High students might find visitors to the Australian War Memorial wandering across to see this wonderfully constructed memorial, built by the Kids Assist class combining students from Campbell, Stromlo, Melrose, Alfred Deakin and Telopea High Schools. 3. Display Walls, Calwell High bus stop - the efforts of the Kids Assist class from Queanbeyan, Calwell, Chisholm, Wanniassa and Galilee Highs will be very visible to people passing by the school.

28 28

By Meredith Hunter, Parliamentary Leader, ACT Greens

I recently attended a President’s Luncheon where understandably the conversation was dominated by the new lease variation charge and it was evident that there still remains a significant degree of uncertainty about the new system and particularly the Greens amendments to the scheme.

• Environmental efficiency


Greens amendments to the lease variation charge scheme

• Location • Community purpose • Environmental remediation • Heritage conservation

The Greens amendments to the lease variation charge scheme will make the system clearer and easier for industry to apply in practice. The amendments ensure that:

the scheme is open and transparent by requiring that all remissions given and also that the values used to assess the charge (where this is not done under a code) are placed on the public register;

in determining the amounts in the codes the Treasurer must obtain and consider the advice of a valuer accredited by the Australian Property Institute;

improvements on the land are not taken into account in assessing the charge and instead any additional cost or market reality is addressed through the remissions provisions;

a clearer legislative framework governs the operation of the scheme;

12 months notice of the general rate of remission must be given;

no specific increases to the charge can be made without the approval of the Legislative Assembly;

there is a clear framework for remissions of the charge.

There will now be five set categories of remission with publicly available criteria to ensure that everyone knows what they have to do to be eligible:

The first two will probably be the most relevant for most builders and developers. Whilst the criteria have not yet been finalised the intention is that they will create clear and objective rules for the industry to follow. One possible example of what the criteria could set out is when a dwelling achieves an 8 star energy efficiency rating or is built within 500 metres of a bus interchange or public transport corridor it will qualify for a significant discount.

This is just an example and the details will hopefully be finalised soon. The Greens know that the building industry in Canberra is capable of building sustainable homes at the forefront of contemporary design and we support appropriate urban infill. We recognise that there is a concern about the new charges and have tried to balance the competing factors, respond to industry concerns and come up with a solution that continues to make infill an attractive commercial option whist at the same time ensuring that the community gets a fair return. We now have in place a robust system of exemptions that will ensure that builders and developers don’t have to pay the full charge when they build sustainable homes or deliver other positive community outcomes.

The Greens will be monitoring the operation of the scheme to ensure that it is working in practise and we welcome any feedback from the building industry.


Style, new technology and innovation. These features were all present in the projects of finalists and winners in the 2011 Master Builders and Boral Excellence in Building Awards. The night, hosted by the incredibly funny and upbeat comedian Ahn Do, saw over 1,480 guests enjoy wonderful food and entertainment at the National Convention Centre. Tier one Australian company, Boral continued its major sponsorship of the awards and long partnership with Master Builders ACT and the local industry. We thank Boral and the many other incredibly generous and supportive industry partners who contributed to the success of the awards, a hallmark event in the Australian building and construction industry calendar. Congratulations to all of our winners and we wish them luck when the national awards are decided later this year.





Manteena National Gallery of Australia, New Look, Stage 1 Indigenous Galleries & New Entrance

The stunning work of Manteena on the National Gallery of Australia has been awarded the highly-esteemed title of Project of the Year. This new addition to the National Gallery of Australia provides a more visible and accessible ground-level entrance including cloakroom,

the 4,390m² project, with an original budget of $54m which later increased to just over $100m. “Although we were contracted as the construction manager, we really took the role as project manager in order to facilitate the processes and provide the desired outcome for the client,” said

“Certain times throughout the project demanded flexibility within our construction programme to accommodate the operational needs of the gallery. But from a construction point of view, the concrete structure, the offform concrete and the design and

“Certain times throughout the project demanded flexibility within our construction programme to accommodate the operational needs of the gallery.” enhanced shop and the breath-taking Gandel Hall function space, which opens onto a newly created Australian garden. This beautiful new function room features six stunning floor-toceiling double doors covered in gold leaf, plus sawn black granite and striking red ironbark timber flooring. Immediately above the new entrance are 11 specially-designed Indigenous art galleries which connect to existing galleries on the main level. Manteena was chosen to provide construction management services for


Senior Project Manager Rod Mitton. This is undoubtedly a prominent and complex project, featuring a vast range of materials and innovative construction techniques to create a truly unique structure which adequately blends with the artwork it houses. Mr Mitton said one of the more challenging aspects of the project was working around the normal operations of the Gallery, including three major public exhibitions.

construction of façade elements were probably the most challenging aspects of the project.” The judges were in awe of the flawless construction technique employed by Manteena in delivering this exquisite construction job, commenting that it was a project of the highest standard which provides a fitting home for some of Australia’s finest artwork.



Better Building Services Reid

Better Building Services enjoyed huge success at the Excellence in Building Awards, walking away with three award wins and two merits, and most prominently taking the award for House of the Year. Their beautiful Yarralumla home won merits in the categories of Custom Built Homes $600,00 - $1m and Display Homes more than $300,000, as well as winning the

given that the competition here in Canberra is ‘the best in the country’. “I have seen many houses around Australia that win awards,” he said “And I can say that we have the best standard of building right here in Canberra, so to win is a really special thing to achieve.” Of the extraordinary Reid property, Ivan is very proud of their achievements, however credits his

Better Building Services are certainly driven by client satisfaction, and pride themselves on the highest level of communication and liaison in order to achieve the best possible results for their clients. “The reason the houses we build are standout pieces of work is because we are the project managers for the whole design process,” Ivan said “This means that we get to understand our clients

“we get to understand our clients well before we start building for them, and this is the most important part of the service we offer our clients” award for Bathroom Design & Construction more than $25,000. However, the true success story of the evening has to be their exceptional Reid remodelling job, which won the award for Remodelling (Open) as well as the prestigious title of House of the Year. Owner Ivan Juric says he was definitely not expecting the wins,

clients with most of the glory. “The level of fit out was the best I have ever done and our skills were truly tested,” he said “The only reason we were able to show what we could do is because of our wonderful client’s involvement. It is the clients who drive the design and this one was a very special house to be involved in.”

well before we start building for them, and this is the most important part of the service we offer our clients. “Thank you to all involved with the homes we build. Without them our achievements would be impossible.”



RAM Constructions Linear @ Banner

The innovative work of RAM Constructions has resulted in three award wins, including the Chief Minister’s Affordable Housing Award for a stunning affordable home in Bonner.

“I think it validates for us the notion that affordable housing doesn’t have to look a certain way,” he said “It can be aesthetically pleasing and affordable and tick all the boxes that clients want in the open market.

Also taking out awards for Medium Density and Townhouses & Villas, RAM Constructions have displayed

We’ve spent a lot of time focusing our attention and working with architects to try and achieve that,

“What we tried to do is just make the house look like everything else, and not cut corners on functionality and build quality, but rather be smart about the use of space and using the different materials that are out there to create something that ticks all the boxes.”

“I think it validates for us the notion that affordable housing doesn’t have to look a certain way,.” a great commitment to creating beautiful and unique homes which represent fantastic value for money. Anthony O’Brien from RAM Constructions is thrilled to have taken the award for Chief Minister’s Affordable Housing and says it helps prove that affordable housing doesn’t need to ‘stick out as an affordable house product’.


and I think that going forward it gives us the satisfaction that that time and effort will translate in to sales. At the end of the day people do want an aesthetically pleasing, affordable small house.” Anthony and the team are passionate about cutting costs, but not quality, to create distinctive homes of the highest possible standard.



Guideline ACT Narrabundah Ball Park


GDE Stage 2 Bridges Duplication

$5-$20 MILLION

Flemington Road Duplication

It was a ‘surreal’ evening for the team at Guideline ACT, who say they barely had time to sit down before the next of their three awards was presented to them.

The GDE Stage 2 Bridges Duplication was also a challenging and highprofile job, made more difficult by the need to minimise disruption to the heavily-trafficked area. A mix of experience, good engineering practice and management systems

The nature of this design and construct project allowed for a superior outcome at a reduced cost. “Contractors have a wealth of experience, design and construct allows this knowledge of efficiencies

“Experience has taught me not to ‘expect the win’, the competition is very strong”

“It actually took a little while, the next day actually, for it to really sink in,” said Managing Director Nick Zardo “Only then did I realise just how well the Guideline ACT team had done, and for that I was very proud and thankful to all the employees, subcontractors and suppliers involved.”

allow Guideline ACT to deliver these sorts of projects.

These projects were all complex for a range of reasons, with Narrabundah Ballpark upgrade being a particularly unique project for Guideline ACT.

“Constructing bridges is always a little tricky, constructing them over existing busy roads is complicated,” said Nick “In the case of this project a significant investment was made in the planning of the girder erection, which resulted in traffic disruption of only one day on busy Ginninderra Drive. Another initiative was to install safety screens on the adjacent existing bridge at night to minimise disruption to traffic.”

“The challenge here was a very short construction period and a completion date which could not move,” said Nick “The project was made up of many unique elements and it’s a credit to the management team to be able to pull it all together and deliver the project on time.”

Their third win of the evening, for the Flemington Road duplication was an ‘exciting’ design and construct project for ACT Roads through Shared Services Procurement, requiring some innovative thinking to solve bridgework and pavement rehabilitation issues.

and practicality to influence design which in turn results in a better outcome.” Nick and the team are to be commended on their exceptional success on the evening, and the outstanding quality of work they continue to deliver. “Experience has taught me not to ‘expect the win’, the competition is very strong and in the past we have submitted projects which I considered to be a sure bet, not to win an award,” said Nick “To win three awards was amazing and totally unexpected.”



Contemporary Landscaping East O’Malley

The talented team at Contemporary Landscaping has taken out the Residential Landscaping award for their exceptional project in East O’Malley.

the time, as well as unforseen issues with underground services which required changes to the original design.

end result. Overall, this project is a truly excellent display of landscape construction on a residence.

This beautiful and well-structured garden has been constructed with meticulous care and it is immediately evident that great consideration has been given to detail and finish of the project.

“The design has a great mix of materials including natural stone, clay payers, concrete blocks and timber, which compliment the house,” he said “Also, the level changes on this project created useable spaces, and resolved retaining issues.”

It is undoubtedly their passion for people and client satisfaction, coupled with their obvious expertise, which has led to this win for Contemporary Landscaping.

Owner Troy Douglas says the project was a challenge due to the house and pool still being under construction at

The judges noted that all joints, levels and interfaces are of the highest standard, all contributing to a faultless

“Residential Landscaping is rewarding in the way that we get to work with clients personally and see their job through from start to finish” said Troy.



CUSTOM BUILT HOME $300,000-$600,000

Reliabuilt Forde

This particular award category saw some exceptional entries this year with no less than 12 being selected as finalists. Unfortunately there can only be one winner. This year Classic 36

Constructions took out the award with their home in Forde, however we felt that this home from Reliabuit, which came so close to winning was a deserved merit and worth a look.

Architecturally designed with both energy efficiency and today’s lifestyle in mind, the large well lit living areas lead to both a rear alfresco area and a front decked courtyard.



Brett Lentfer B A Lentfer

Brett Lentfer and the team at B A Lentfer have been employing apprentices since 1981, an admirable commitment which has been honoured with the award win for Youth Participation & Training. “I love seeing young people grow,” Brett said “When you initially meet a new first year apprentice, you are meeting someone with almost an entirely clean slate, an unknown quantity. Over the following years you watch these individuals evolve, maturing into young men whose self-confidence grows alongside their skills and knowledge of the building industry” Brett is a passionate advocate for the training of new members to the industry, and believes they add an immeasurable value to the team in many ways, including the added energy and enthusiasm.

“They’re always eager to learn and prove themselves as being worthy of their position, earning respect from the team. Every apprentice adds value to our team. They all have strengths and weakness. The important part is identifying them, building on their strengths and continually working to improve weaknesses.”

will ensure that the industry has a strong and prosperous future. It should never be forgotten that someone also gave us the same opportunity.”

The training of young people looking to break into building and construction is undoubtedly imperative to the continued growth and success of the industry, and the work of B A Lentfer is testament to both the importance and worth of these keen young apprentices. “I believe all tradesmen have a responsibility to the industry to take on the challenge of training and introducing new people to the building trade.” Brett said “This

“They’re always eager to learn and prove themselves as being worthy of their position, earning respect from the team”



Delnas Metal Roofing AIS Pool Refurbishment

From their humble beginnings over 20 years ago, Delnas Metal Roofing have grown into a force to be reckoned with, taking on exceedingly complex projects with a drive and enthusiasm that is evident in the success of their final product.

concedes that the team enjoys the challenge of a unique project. “We don’t necessarily seek them out, they come to us, and a lot of the time the guys in the office will look at the job and say ‘This is something that Leishman would want to do!’” he

“You couldn’t just chuck it together, it had to be done in a particular way to allow for all the bits of structural steel sticking out through the walls,” says Daryl “It was a major coordination thing. Some panels had to come back off to allow for steel that was missing, so we had to pull them off and put

“Delnas designed platforms and static lines to do the job safely, so that the pool could stay in operation, and so the ceiling didn’t fall in” Two of their most recent accomplishments were recognised at the Excellence in Building Awards, being the Australian Institute of Sport pool roof refurbishment which won the award for Subcontractor – Technical Difficulty, and the Canberra Institute of Technology Skills Training Hub winning the award for Commercial Building Façade. But the glory didn’t end there. Delnas Metal Roofing was also named Subcontractor of the Year, an unexpected but very exciting reward for the hard-working team. “I guess that means we’ve done something right!” joked owner Daryl Leishman, “We’ve looked after our customers and everyone is happy.” Daryl has tackled some extremely difficult projects over the years, and


laughs “We like something different, the guys enjoy it.” One such unique project was the AIS pool roof refurbishment, being a highly prestigious job requiring the highest standards of coordination and care in its management. “When I went to the site and I look at it I thought ‘yep, this is something good. This is something new and different – we can do this!’” says Daryl “Delnas designed platforms and static lines and all this sort of thing to do the job safely, so that the pool could stay in operation, and so the ceiling didn’t fall in. The whole job was difficult, and winning for that project was a great bonus.” Their second award-winning project of the evening, the CIT Skills Training Hub, was a colossal job involving the intricate coordination of materials.

them back – and it’s not just a simple process of pulling off a 12 metre long panel, it weighs 250 kilos and is pretty awkward.” Delnas Metal Roofing has truly gone from strength to strength since it began business, and Daryl is extremely pleased with the path the company is on and the success they’re enjoying. “When I started the business 20 years ago, with Classic Constructions who gave us a good start, we branched out into minor commercial works,” he says “We had a price limit of jobs up to $200,000 and I think that lasted about 2 months when we did the first AIS pool, which was about 10 times that, so it’s gone forward very well. There’s a direction the company is going in, we’ve got great staff, and I’m very happy with it.”

est township to ew n ’s n io g re ra er b Can za. bring building bonan



There’s good news on the horizon for the local building industry. The Canberra region’s population is continuing to boom and there are plenty of major infrastructure projects and housing developments slated for the next 20 years. These projects include the $288 million Majura Parkway, and new housing developments at Molonglo, Gungahlin and, one of the most innovative and exciting, Googong. “You can’t classify Googong as just another housing development in a new suburb,” says Mark Attiwill from CIC Australia, the company with the vision for Googong and the man who has strategic carriage for the project’s planning and construction. “Googong is an extraordinary opportunity to design and create a whole new township completely from scratch,” he says. “We’re not taking our cue from already established suburban or urban areas, and we are not building onto anything that currently exists. We are creating a completely new, selfcontained township that will set the benchmark for similar developments. Googong will create the future.” Googong is situated on a greenfields site about 20 minutes from Canberra’s CBD and five minutes from Queanbeyan. It will be built over 20 to 25 years to create a new community of about 16,000 people, almost half the size of Queanbeyan, and will contain about 5,550 new homes. It will include a town centre and four neighbourhood centres. The scale of the project—one of the largest in memory for this region—will create plenty of competitive opportunities for local building and construction operators and will mark a shift in focus from construction in Canberra’s north to the south east. There will also be plenty of incentives to encourage early residents to the area, including the NSW Government’s zero stamp duty initiative and its regional relocation incentive, in addition to infrastructure and facilities funded by CIC Australia. These include an upgraded local road network—work has already begun on the extension of Edwin Land Parkway—a multipurpose centre (including a council shopfront, library and community hall as well as meeting and activity rooms), and an indoor sports and aquatic centre with two sports courts and a 25 metre lap pool. There will also be seven sports fields, 10

tennis courts and six netball courts, and five neighbourhood parks and 13 local parks. Already, what is being termed by CIC as a ‘builders guild’ has been established through an open tender process for the first of the township’s neighbourhoods. The guild is a group of national and Canberra region builders who have been briefed on CIC Australia’s design and sustainability principles for Googong. It will not only help make life easier for those looking for a builder with knowledge about the township’s design guidelines, but will also provide a wide choice of contemporary, sustainable, quality homes. “The builder’s guild is a model that’s worked well for us for other projects in the past,” says Mark Attiwill. “We recognise that for a really large project, like Googong, we need a good pipeline of quality building and construction companies to draw on, and the guild is an effective and important way for us to achieve this.” And for those companies that are a part of the guild, and who can meet CIC’s strict design and sustainability standards, Googong also means a long-term pipeline of quality work. There are five neighbourhoods to build and, Mark says, plenty of opportunities to be had. “Even outside of the guild, we are interested in establishing more partnerships to help us build Googong,” he says. “We hope more Canberra region building and construction firms will look to Googong as a chance to be involved in something unique, but also as a good business opportunity that will provide a solid stream of work.” For more information about Googong and to register interest in being considered for future guild arrangements, visit:


Simplicity Kitchens



Simplicity Kitchens have displayed an admirable level of intricacy and attention to detail in creating this flawless Bonner kitchen, which deservedly took the award for Kitchen Design & Construction more than $25,000. Owner David Jackson says not only were the team surprised by the win, but that they almost ‘fell over’ when they heard their name read out. “We watched about 20 jobs come up before us. When you see these jobs come up you get a feel for how you think you’re going to go, and a couple


However, the judges were extremely impressed by the workmanship on display in this kitchen, finding it ‘impossible to fault’. They also commented that the kitchen compliments the entire house and creates maximum appeal with a tasteful combination of colours, textures, materials and lighting, whilst maintaining the form and function of the space.

David says this was difficult to achieve given the limited space provided. “The area that we had was an extremely tricky one. It was a small lot housing block, which meant we had limited width to work with. We wanted to maximise the space but by the same token we didn’t want to have all kitchen and no family room area – it had to be very well balanced. We really tried to maximise what we could do in a small area and we were very, very happy with what we achieved in there.”

Archie Tsirimokos Meyer Vandenberg

Taking out this prestigious award for his well-renowned dedication to the job, Archie say he is motivated each day by achieving great outcomes for clients. “It comes down to two simple things,” he said “The great clients I have the pleasure of helping on a day to day basis and the great people I work with everyday. The team we have right now 40

of them looked like high price, large jobs. Then our attitude to it was that we thought our little kitchen was going to get hammered” laughs David.

is exceptionally talented and they are some of the best going around.” Archie is one of Canberra’s most experienced and well-respected commercial lawyers, but nevertheless says he was surprised by the prominent award win. Archie has particular expertise in the fields of commercial law, commercial

dispute resolution, building and construction law as well as property development, sales and acquisitions. “Meyer Vandenberg has been committed to developing expertise in building and construction over several years and I believe recognition by our industry peers is testament to our success in doing that,” he said.


Thank you to our Major Sponsor of the event 速

Thank you to our Gold Sponsors of the event



BOTTOM LINE The inaugural Director-General of the ACT Government’s Economic Development Directorate is Cooma-raised David Dawes, who was brought into the ACT Public Service by former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope to help deliver the ACT Government Affordable Housing Action Plan. The plan contained more than 60 recommendations relating to all areas of housing. One of the key plans was to review the land release program. Over the four years since David’s appointment more than 17,000 dwelling sites have been delivered to the market. David was previously with the ACT’s Master Builders Association for 13 years, 10 as executive director. David was also as a founding member of the OzHelp Foundation which aims to prevent youth suicide in the building and construction industry. In 2003, while with the Master Builders, David assisted the bushfire recovery effort by instigating a single demolition package to assist those who lost their homes. He also chaired the Planning and Infrastructure Task Force and the Community Expert Reference Group.

which will ease pressure in that market segment.


By way of example, the opening up of Molonglo has seen the first release of land in Canberra’s south for many years. A large percentage of buyers will be existing homeowners from Weston Creek and Woden who are using this opportunity to ‘trade up’. The sale of their current properties will then give other Canberrans the opportunity to move into those established areas.

My experience in the ACT Public Service has been stimulating and I am greatly enjoying the challenges. One of the biggest was identified by Dr Allan Hawke in his recent review of the ACTPS – the need to simplify government processes to deliver better results for our community. There is no doubt that the community is demanding greater transparency and accountability – to which the Government has been responding. Since taking on the mantle of chief executive of the former Department of Land and Property Services in December 2009, I have made it my goal to meet with as many community councils and citizens as possible. That’s made me very aware that many Canberrans do not understand why getting more land out to the market is crucial to our economic growth and our social aspirations for affordable housing, as well as to our employment prospects in the future.

LAND SUPPLY CONTINUES TO BE A VERY TOPICAL DEBATE IN THE ACT AS IT IS ELSEWHERE AROUND THE COUNTRY. WE HAVE SEEN A LOT OF DWELLING SITE RELEASES IN THE ACT OVER THE PAST FOUR YEARS. WHEN WILL YOU KNOW WE HAVE CAUGHT UP IN TERMS OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND AND WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE DON’T GET CAUGHT BY ANY SUDDEN CHANGES IN THE MARKET? I agree it is crucial we carefully monitor the supply and demand of land so we don’t adversely impact on householders and businesses. While we are forecasting 18,500 new dwelling site releases in the next four years, we are continually monitoring the market and meet regularly with private sector industry experts and make changes to reflect market conditions. Our objective is to work towards stabilising land and property prices and also achieving a three per cent vacancy rate in the rental market 42

Stabilising land prices can be more readily achieved by establishing an inventory of serviced land which will then act as a buffer to absorb any sudden increase in demand. RELATING TO LAND SUPPLY IS THE VEXED QUESTION OF HOUSING AFFORDABILITY. AFFORDABILITY MEANS DIFFERENT THINGS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE. IT IS USUALLY IMPACTED BY INCOME BUT THEN SUBJECT TO FAMILY SIZE, LOCATION NEEDS, CURRENT VERSUS FUTURE REQUIREMENTS, ETC. WHERE DO YOU SEE THIS DEBATE NOW AND INTO THE FUTURE? It is fair to say affordable housing means different things to different people. One common definition is that families and singles in the lowest 40 per cent of income earners should not be paying more than 30 per cent of their gross income on housing. The ACT Government’s Affordable Housing Action Plan seeks to meet this objective. In relation to land, the next two years will see land released on a number of development fronts which will increase the options that Canberrans have in both the type of housing available and location.

Supply is of course the major factor in determining price and that is why we will continue with our land release program while at the same time continuing to closely monitor the market. While land release will continue to be an important part of our Action Plan, other innovative programs such as Land Rent and OwnPlace will continue to offer Canberrans other options to enter home ownership. These schemes are particularly attractive for those on average incomes who would otherwise struggle to buy their own home. Only recently, jurisdictions such as Western Australian have shown interest in replicating Land Rent in their State. The provision of affordable housing is of course much broader than just releasing more land. The Action Plan has also provided real solutions for those on very low incomes by providing a $70 million loan facility to CHC Affordable Housing. Under this arrangement, CHC are providing 500 rental properties at 75 per cent of the market rate as well as building 500 homes for sale over the next 10 years.


migration and of course land sales and development. CANBERRA BUILDING NEWS EDITION 2 - 2011

It provides us with an opportunity to work across Government to create opportunities for business in the ACT – which is a bigger employer than government. Canberra has already seen some excellent private sector growth in service industries like software development, research, clean energy and education. Our challenge is to grow those successful industries and to diversify and look for others. The creation of EDD also brings the Land Development Agency and its operations closer together – helping to overcome the fragmentation of responsibilities in land policy and development identified by Dr Allan Hawke in his review of the ACT Public Service.

CONTINUING GLOBAL FINANCIAL UNCERTAINTY STILL APPEARS TO BE PART OF THE LANDSCAPE. THE ACT APPEARS TO HAVE ESCAPED MUCH OF THE PAIN DESPITE SOME RECENT SIGNS OF A WEAKENING IN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY. THE CANBERRA CONSTRUCTION SNAPSHOT INDICATES A CONTINUING ROSY FUTURE ALTHOUGH SOME CURRENT ABS AND AUSTRALIAN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY FORECAST COUNCIL (ACIF) SUGGESTS A BIT OF A ROUGH TIME AHEAD PARTICULARLY IN THE COMMERCIAL SECTOR. HOW WILL ACT GOVERNMENT INFRASTRUCTURE DEMANDS IMPACT ON THE INDUSTRY IN THE COMING YEARS? At the time of writing, there is considerable global uncertainty although in Canberra the construction industry is certainly in a healthy position with $7.3 billion worth of projects currently under construction and a further $10.5 billion in the planning phase. This excludes the proposed new Government Office Building planned for Civic and the office block planned for Gungahlin. Nor does it include the construction of the Majura Parkway, a $288 million project that will commence construction in mid 2012 and finish in 2016. There will also be further infrastructure work necessary for the new suburbs to be opened up in Molonglo and the continued development of additional Gungahlin suburbs.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE WISH TO SOLVE A PROBLEM RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE? How much space do you have? If there were a magic wand, my one wish would be for us all to walk in the other person’s shoes, to build a greater understanding of the challenges ahead and the need for a collaborative effort and goodwill to resolve issues.


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Andrew Stewart

In the Picture


People we’re watching today.

Ross Barrett


The Top 100 engineers in the country are recognised each year by Engineers Australia. In 2011, Ross Barrett has been acknowledged amongst an impressive list of individuals engaged in different facets of the engineering discipline. Ross has been the Master Builders ACT President since 2001 and is also the National President of the Civil Contractors Federation, a position he has held since 2009. The Top 100 list is compiled and published by Engineers Australia magazine and the list has increasingly become a reference point for the industry to recognise its best talent.

Stephen Gregory


When Steve first moved to Canberra he was the General Manager Commercial Operations for Brumbies Rugby, responsible for all commercial aspects of the Brumbies for the 2006 – 2009 seasons.


Following the end of the 2009 Brumbies season, Steve was appointed CEO of Snowy Hydro SouthCare, a role he successfully held for two years leading to a major boost in profile for the Snowy Hydro SouthCare Rescue Helicopter and raising in excess of $3 million across the ACT and Southern NSW. Steve commenced with Canberra CBD Limited in the role of CEO on 30 May 2011.

Kristine Scheul


Having been a partner at Meyer Vandenberg from 2007 to 2011 (Kristine stated with MV in 1999) Kristine, David and family have moved to Brisbane. At Meyer Vandenberg Kristine regularly advises builders and developers with respect to the construction and interpretation of building contracts and conducts expert determinations and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms including mediation and arbitration. Kristine has held the position of President of the ACT Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) from 2008 to 2011 and prior to the ACT attaining its Chapter status, was the ACT Committee Chair of NAWIC since its re-launch in the ACT in 2008.


Helen is a project manager who has been working in the construction industry for over a decade, and has recently joined the team at GHD in Canberra. Helen has core competencies in design management and services coordination with experience with clients in the Commonwealth Government and private sector.

Andrew Stewart has been working for CB Richard Ellis since 2000. His most recent role prior to his appointment as Managing Director of the Canberra Office was as Managing Director of CBRE’s Mulgrave office, in suburban Melbourne. There, he was responsible for a team of 25 staff, predominantly a sales and leasing team. Andrew has relocated to Canberra, with wife Katie and their two children, to grow the Agency side of the business whilst working with the Valuation and Town Planning business to further enhance their market dominant position. Prior to joining CB Richard Ellis, Andrew worked for Jones Lang La Salle for 12 years in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne.


Mark Nicholls grew up in the UK and attended Liverpool John Moores University to study a BSc (Hons) degree in Real Estate. From 2003 – 2006 Mark was employed by Drivers Jonas in Manchester, where he was involved in consultation for mixed-use development and regeneration projects for both private and public sector clients. Mark completed his Assessment of Professional Competence to become a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in October 2005. In February 2007 Mark was sponsored by CB Richard Ellis to move to Australia to work as a commercial investment agent in Canberra. He subsequently became a Graduate Member of the Australian Property Institute and is now a registered salesperson in the ACT under the Agents Act 2003. Mark has recently been promoted to the position of Associate Director with CB Richard Ellis Canberra.

- Part 1 Being ‘environmental and sustainable’ are starting to become boring buzz words but have you really thought about what they mean and do you realise you can save money by following the principles? Being environmental and sustainable means conserving and using natural resources without destroying the ecological balance of an area. If you plan well before you move on to a site you can not only save money but also be ‘green’.

Soil is the next major area to consider and is vital to the success of the landscape further down the track. Save your topsoil, thereby saving time and tip fees as imported soil is never as good and costs money, time and labour. At the same time you are being sustainable by re-using resources and not destroying a creek bed somewhere else where the soil may have come from.


Landscaping - Before Building

When excavating rock, save it for on-site landscaping or recycle it to landscapers or landscape supply companies. What natural resources do you have on a building site that you don’t have to completely destroy? If we start from the top the plants are one major area. Trees in particular take a long time to grow so if you are able to work around them you save the price of bringing them down and tipping them and at the same time improve the amenity of the final job and therefore the price you can achieve for the sale. As a bonus you are being ‘green’ by keeping the habitat and food source for all sorts of fauna such as birds, spiders and insects. Deciduous trees can usually cope with losing up to two-thirds of their root ball but gums do not like root disturbance within their drip line. Consult an arborist to ensure you are not de-stabilising the tree by cutting major supporting roots. Smaller plants may be able to be ‘heeled in’ some soil out of the way and re-planted after construction. Check with a horticulturist as to what plants can survive this process and what to do to make it successful. If you do have to remove trees consider keeping some of the logs for landscaping the area or for providing seats if the trunks are large enough and it suits the landscape ‘style’. This will again save tip fees and provide habitat for insects and reptiles.

When excavating rock, save it for on-site landscaping or recycle it to landscapers or landscape supply companies. Rock is in short supply at the moment so you can save on tip fees and may even be able to get paid for it if it is a usable size. When used on site, placed rock can make a relatively cheap way of adjusting levels and will also provide habitat for fauna. It can be made to look ‘softer’ by adding pockets of soil and planting in the pockets.

Contact Easycare Landscapes on ph: 6257 8122 or email: If you want advice on design, construction or maintenance of residential or commercial landscapes. We understand construction, working with the environment and how to design landscapes that work.

Part 2 ‘After Building’ will appear in the next issue of the Canberra Building News.


Master Builders association of the act

huMan resources Manual The Building and Construction industry is extremely complex. Not only do employers need to contend with the complicated process of building and its numerous laws and regulations, but they are responsible for the day to day management of their employees. People management is a job in itself, and no employer can be fully prepared for every workplace relations issue that may arise. That’s why Master Builders Association of the ACT has created this Human Resources Manual. The manual has been designed to arm members with the resources and required knowledge to deal with everyday situations that may arise in the workplace.

Master Builders Association of the ACT

HUMAN RESOURCES MANUAL For employers in the building and construction industry

Re - Solve Pr r Directo

Master Builders Association of the ACT 1 Iron Knob St, Fyshwick ACT 2609 PO Box 1211, Fyswick ACT 2609 Tel: (02) 6247 2099 Fax: (02) 6249 8374 Email: Web:


• Federal Government’s Industrial Relations Changes • Recruitment • Induction • Record keeping • Discrimination and Bullying in the Workplace • Dealing with Unions • Performance Management • Discipline and Termination of Employment • Drug and Alcohol Policy

“This istool thatl very ble moadneul aon ll e a vatluhea HR m clevaer, w “I fipnrodvidesl.aItim iato ispro tforraellad” c fi e n w e y s b ho ndaeliasm about d aion depfirnoefess s serious rce.” nie n Rweyseoru, compaHKuym liea D y es ir e rem ts th Cao gAalalnH ojec

The Master Builders Fidelity Fund was established in 2002 to protect the interests of both consumers and builders in the ACT. For Builders, the Master Builders Fidelity Fund provides financial certainty as money held by the Fund remains in the ACT. It is securely invested and used for the betterment of the ACT builders and consumers and is therefore not subjected to the vagaries of international markets and events. The Fidelity Fund issues Fidelity Certificates which provide consumer protection for owners of new homes and those making significant changes to homes. The Certificates protect the owner during construction and for up to six years from the date of practical completion. Master Builders members receive reduced premium rates and we also offer special discounts for volume users of the Fidelity Fund. For more information contact the Master Builders Fidelity Fund.


Master Builders Fidelity Fund 1 Iron Knob St, Fyshwick ACT 2609 | PO Box 1211, Fyshwick ACT 2609 Tel: (02) 6175 5995 Fax: (02) 6257 8349 Email: Web:

As a member of Master Builders Association of the ACT you are entitled to a range of trade discounts associated with some of our Corporate Partners. These discounts can save your business a fortune, adding even more value to your membership.

Master Builders Group Training

Health Insurance

Group Training provides training in a range of courses from the OH&S Induction card to Builders Licence and Asbestos Removal. These courses are offered to members at a discounted price.

Join Master Builders/nib corporate health plan and avoid the usual two and six month waiting periods to claim* on:

Master Builders Group Training 02 6280 9119

• General • Physio • Remedial Massage



• Optical • Chiro • Acupuncture

nib – 1800 816 692 *Conditions apply Workwear & Safety Equipment

Recruitment Services

10% discount to Master Builders members on standard terms of business

10% off most products in store. Seears Workwear 02 6280 4111

Hays Construction and Property 02 6230 5142


Fleet Discounts

Save 20–30% on mobile phone calls and 5% on home or office phone calls, with the Master Builders/Telstra phone deal. Telstra – 1300 881 372

John McGrath Ford Phillip - 02 6122 2222 Belconnen - 02 6256 2300 Mitchell - 02 6201 1800 Isuzu Ute - 02 6166 1111 Electrical, Bathroom and Plumbing Supplies Harvey Norman Commercial Division 02 6202 2000

Car Detailing Service

10% off on Extreme or Full Valet carwash for Master Builders Members. Find your voucher at to use at Braddon or Gungahlin. Waves Carwash -

Braddon 02 6247 0443 Gungahlin 02 6262 3955

Safety and Environmental Support

10% discount on systems, training, auditing and compliance. Matrix National Group - 02 6239 7322

nib When using services of our Corporate Partners please identify yourself as a member of Master Builders Association of the ACT and quote your membership number. 47

Overview of Safety Culture Trends in Building and Construction 2011 Results from the Human Dymensions National MiProfiIe Safety Culture Survey (database of over 8,000 over 5 years) demonstrates the following safety culture trends in Building and Construction. These trends have not varied over five years regardless of what organization or alliance is surveyed.

The top 10 ranked negative trends are: 1. Misunderstanding safety bureaucracy eg. SWMS evidenced in “tick and flick” sub-culture (eg. safety tools not seen as thinking/conversation tools). 80%

6. Insufficient positive recognition. 70%

2. A general disposition of overconfidence about risk. 75%

7. A preoccupation and ‘flooding’ with the ‘cosmetics of safety’ (eg. PPE and paperwork rather than focusing on actual safety, like safety walks and conversations). 70%

3. Simplistic and naive attitudes to safety values (eg. safety is about just being careful and exercising common sense). 75%

8. A general acceptance of fatalism, cynicism, skepticism and punitive solutions to problems. 65%

4. Tendency to blame rather than learn about incidents (coming from simplistic understanding of safety values eg. some people are accident prone, accidents happen to people because they are careless). 70%

9. Imbalance and confusion between program, cost and risk trade off. 65%

5. A lack of doubt in the culture associated with high risk activities, linked to point 1 (this result indicates that most employees in Building and Construction do not entertain doubt as an automatic way of thinking about risk). 70%

10. Acceptance of ‘double speak’ (eg. say one thing do another). 65%

The survey methodology utilises keypad technology with statement design by Dr Long (in conjunction with Prof. Karl. E. Weick, Michigan University). Dr Long’s unique interactive Rapid Interface (iRi) methodology captures ‘gut’ (implicit) knowledge through time limited response. All quantitative methodology, data mining and statistical results are validated by the work of Dr Chris Barnes (Aust Inst. of Sport). Dr Long has conducted the MiProtiIe Safety Culture Sunrey with more than 30 building and construction companies (from Tier 1 to residential).


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Dr Long is Director of Human Dymensions Pty Ltd and Honourary Fellow ACU National.

Contact: Dr Robert Long Director Human Dymensions Pty Ltd ABN: 34 123 347 080

Specialists in People, Learning and Organisational Development Human Dymensions have the expertise, programs and packages to assist and develop organisations, support managers and help leaders develop their people, place, learning and production. Human Dymensions specialises in all aspects of human

WITHOUT THE ADMINISTRATION Consider the advantages of becoming a Host Employer and the benefits to you. Master Builders Group Training invoices for the actual hours the apprentice, trainee or cadet works on the job. You are not invoiced for Public holidays, annual leave, sick leave, RDO and training days. Master Builders Group Training is responsible for all administration of wages, Workers Compensation, long service leave and superannuation.



Master Builders Group Training employs field officers to assist you with hosting the apprentices, trainees or cadets. If you directly employ your own apprentice Master builders can provide the training required. There are benefits for the industry including opportunities for apprentices, trainees and cadets, on site learning opportunities and contributing to skilling the future construction industry.

MBA Group Training Ltd.

1 Iron Knob Street, Fyshwick ACT 2609 I PO Box 1211, Fyshwick ACT 2609 Tel: (02) 6280 9119 Fax: (02) 6280 9118 Email: Web: Ad for ACT Winning Homes.pdf



3:07:36 PM


Tuesday 22 March Sponsored by Austbrokers Canberra

Tuesday 17 May Sponsored by Village Building Co.


David Watts Des Nicholls Ross Barrett

Senior Broker, Austbrokers Canberra The Australian National University President, Master Builders Association of the ACT

Simon Butt John Barilaro Bob Winnel

Tuesday 24 March Sponsored by CRD

Ross Barrett Andro Glavenic John Robertson Simon Gulan

President, Master Builders Association of the ACT Managing Director, Katarina Homes CEO, Land Development Agency Managing Director , Stylemark

Thursday19 May Sponsored by Baulderstone

Simon Butt Ian Young Frank Lorenzetto

Wednesday 20 April Sponsored by St George Bank

Ross Barrett Glenn Trewhella Neil Savery Graeme Swinton

President, Master Builders Association of the ACT St George Bank Chief Executive, ACT Planning and Land Authority St George Bank

Katy Gallagher Paul Powderly


Acting President, Master Builders Association of the ACT Chief Minister of the ACT State Chief Executive, Colliers International

Acting President, Master Builders Association of the ACT Vice Chancellor, The Australian National University General Manager, Baulderstone

Tuesday 31 May Sponsored by O’Connor Harris

John Harris Zed Seselja Simon Butt

Tuesday 10 May Sponsored by Colliers International

Valdis Luks

Acting President, Master Builders Association of the ACT Member for Monaro Managing Director, Village Building Co.

Partner, O’Connor Harris Leader of the ACT Liberal Party Acting President, Master Builders Association of the ACT

Tuesday 7 June Sponsored by Project Coordination

Ross Barrett Andrew Barr Paul Murphy

President, Master Builders Association of the ACT Minister for Planning Managing Director, Project Coordination

Whether you are building a new house, renovating an existing house, adding a pergola or that extra room, make sure you use someone you can trust. Ask the Question is My Builder a Master Builder All members of the Master Builders Association of the ACT go through a thorough application process.

Master Builders Code of Conduct Members of the Master Builders Association are bound by the National Code of Practice. For a copy of the Code please contact the Master Builders Association of the ACT or visit our website.


Is your builder a Master Builder?

Master Builders Support of Consumers The Master Builders provides contracts to ensure that dealings between builders and their customers are clearly set out and both parties know what to expect. Before signing a Master Builders contract or accepting a quote from a Member of the Master Builders you can contact our association for clarification on any questions you may have. It’s a matter of knowing who you can trust.


Master Builders Association of the ACT 1 Iron Knob St, Fyshwick ACT 2609 PO Box 1211, Fyshwick ACT 2609 Tel: (02) 6280 9119 Fax: (02) 6249 8374 Email: Web:


peace of mind

for building industry

professionals Austbrokers Canberra offer exceptional products and services in all areas of insurance, particularly specialising in: „ Construction and building industry insurance „ Trade package insurance „ Public and Products Liability „ Professional Indemnity „ Workers Compensation „ Business Package Insurance „ Income Protection „ Life Insurance and superannuation: these products are provided by the related entity Austbrokers Financial Solutions (SYD) Pty Ltd a Corporate Authorised Representative of Millennium3 Financial Services Pty Ltd ABN 61 094 529 987 AFS Licence 244252 Direct +61 2 6280 5477 | Fax +61 2 6280 7561 Cnr Lyell & Newcastle Streets Fyshwick ACT 2609 PO Box 727, FYSHWICK ACT 2609 Email | Austbrokers Canberra Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Austbrokers Sydney Pty Ltd AFS Licence 244244

Canberra 51

Building Better Communities

Village Building congratulates all MBA Excellence in Building Award Finalists and Winners for 2011.

Village Building is one of the leaders in providing affordable housing for the people of the ACT, NSW and QLD with a strong focus on developing sustainable communities.

Better • Affordable • Sustainable

6242 5999 52 Village Housing Pty Ltd Licence Number: 200788

ACN: 091 899 688

Canberra Building News 2-2011  

Master Builders Association of the ACT, Waterproofing, Regulations, Building and Construction in the ACT,