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  • Writer's pictureFiona O'Hehir

Letter to CAV Ministers


Minister for Consumer Affairs Ms Melissa Horne MP,

Shadow Minister Roma Britnell MP & Nicole Rich Executive Director Regulatory Services

Dear Ms Horne & Ms Britnell,

In late June 2022, the VBA published a short article about an outbreak of building practitioners lending or selling their licenses to non-registered people to work and be paid within the building industry.

We wrote a BLOG about this for our website and we have attached a copy here to save you looking it up.

This is a dire situation, and we would like your detailed and knowledgeable response to the points raised in that BLOG with the Minister for (Building) and Planning and the Executive Director of Operations of the VBA.

We now wish to bring it to your attention for your clarification as a matter of urgency. Here are the questions that need to be addressed from a consumer’s point of view, particularly regarding their legal position and obligations.

Play the same scenario with building practitioners lending or selling their licences; how are consumers affected by these illegal practices?

  • What happens to your “building or house”?

o How do you know, is the first question?

o What is the process for consumers, and are the time frames applicable?

o What if it is approved?

o Do you have to demolish partially or fully what has been constructed?

o Is it covered by Builders Warranty Insurance or other insurance?

Why doesn’t the VBA warn consumers, take out an ad on TV, name the parties they have found and the practitioners, and put out a formal “warning notice” anything less is a failure to disclose critically important information to the public?

These are serious matters, and we hope you take all the steps necessary to give clarity to the process and how any unfortunate consumers are supposed to deal with these illegal practices.

We note that CAV has prosecuted less than half a dozen people over the past for doing building work when not registered for that activity or not a registered practitioner at all.

Historically the VBA and CAV have handballed these sorts of problems backwards and forwards to each other; we hope you both, as new to the portfolio, will bring a fresh set of eyes and solutions to these ongoing problems. We also hope that building and insurance industry problems in Victoria are not shunted like a hot potato backwards and forwards at the regulatory level nor used as a political football when real people’s lives and futures are at stake.

The roles you and the VBA play are essential, and we will assist you in any way we can with our limited resources to give you any insights or further information if required.

We appreciate your time and look forward to your response and any remedies or rectifications of these ongoing dilemmas.

Yours faithfully,

Fiona O’Hehir, Our Team & Our Community

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