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The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) has welcomed the Building Minister’s Forum’s (BMF) call for a nationally harmonised registration scheme for building practitioners, including engineers.

At a time when Australia’s building and construction industry is suffering a crisis of public confidence, the BMF has developed a roadmap for reform.

One of the key changes it has signalled is the need for a nationally harmonised registration scheme for building practitioners, including engineers.

The roadmap is a product of the Shergold-Weir Building Confidence report, commissioned by the BMF in 2017 and published in 2018, aims to restore confidence in Australia's building and construction industry.

In the wake of the Opal Tower debacle and Neo200 facade fire in Melbourne, AIRAH CEO, Tony Gleeson, said there is a clear and urgent need for action.

“It is a considerable anomaly that engineering is one of the few professions not to have a mandatory licensing scheme,” Gleeson said.

The BMF, which is supporting a national approach to registration, has prioritised six recommendations from the Building Confidence report.

The number one recommendation is that each jurisdiction requires the registration of building practitioners involved in the design, construction and maintenance of buildings. This includes builders, engineers and designers. The BMF has set a target of three years for this and other reforms to be implemented.

In addition to these measures, AIRAH is advocating for the inclusion of an explicit requirement and mandatory high-level process for whole-building commissioning within state and territory regulations. AIRAH has also called on state and federal governments to harmonise regulations in the HVACR sector.

“We should have national licence schemes for all refrigerants; minimum standards of competency for building services designers; and standardised regulatory requirements for system maintenance,” Gleeson said.

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