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Facing a target of 375.000 new homes to be built in five years, the NSW Government announces new legislation to tackle illegal practices in the industry, and guarantee quality builds.

The NSW government announced a significant increase in the powers and resources for Building Commissioner David Chandler to deliver quality homes to the people in the state and crack down on poor practices in the building sector.

Amid an unprecedented housing crisis, the government is committed to the target of 75,000 new dwellings a year for five years, but Premier Chris Minns reinforced that this cannot be at the expense of quality. “We’re delivering more homes across the state but won’t let quantity get in the way of quality,” Minns said.

Current legislation only allows inspectors to issue a rectification order after completion and only if someone issues a complaint. The new law, expected to pass parliament next week, gives the power to investigate the construction of any apartment or free-standing home in NSW and uncover defects before building completion to compel adjustments and repairs.

According to Minns, the new law aims to boost public confidence in the sector. “Home buyers in NSW can be confident that we’ve got a tough cop on the beat in the building industry, ensuring that they can have confidence in the quality of the home they’re buying”.

To guarantee the state meets the urgent need for new homes, the government also commits to a $24 million boost.

The proposed law also includes changes to crack down on dishonest and fraudulent elements in the building sector. Talking to ABC News, Chandler highlighted an example where the Department of Customer Service received 15 complaints against a Gold-Coast-based company over unfinished houses. “Firms like that we’ll be chasing out of town,” Chandler said.

Further measures penalise intentional phoenix activities in the construction industry by cancelling or refusing licenses. Phoenixing is the illegal practice of deliberately liquidating companies and creating new ones in the same business without financial responsibilities.

“New powers for the Building Commissioner are a critical step forward as we rebuild integrity in the NSW construction sector,” said Minister for Building Anoulack Chanthivong. “There is no room in this state for rip-off merchants taking home buyers for a ride.”

Premier Minns concludes, “We’re making the right investments and delivering the right powers to rebuild trust and integrity in this sector to help tackle the housing crisis in our state.”