Discuss about the Building and Construction in Victoria Australia for Policies.
Building and construction industry in the 21st century is growing at an alarming rate, and the government and investors are on toes to ensure that they utilize all the opportunities available. The growth of the industry can be attributed to the world population that is increasing gradually, and people are moving from the traditional way of the housing to modern designs. As a result of this developing countries have a challenge in due to low labor and skills to put up the modern housing facilities. This has led to shifting of experts among other personnel in the industry from one country to another. However much this may seem to be simple, there are precautions required before an individual or an organization sets up construction and building business in a foreign country. Before setting up the business, the proprietor requires services of a consultant to ensure that they are aware of the various regulations, policies, and laws that govern a particular state (Berardi, 2012). Australia is an example of the states that have attracted foreign investors in the construction and building industry. In this piece of work, the first section will focus on Australian legal system, areas, and sources of law and the professional codes of practice in the construction industry and in the second section it will focus on system of codes, regulations, standards, and legislation that apply to the industry in Victoria generally, and specifically to the Chadstone residential project.
Australian law comprises of both uncodified and codified forms in the various levels of operation. The forms of law include the constitution, the legislature which is enacted by the Australian federal parliament, regulations by government bodies and common law which is usually as a result of a decision by the judges. The constitution serves as the supreme source of law in Australia that divides powers between federal government, states, and territories. Each of these divisions has their jurisdiction and system of courts as well as parliaments. The Australian framework of the constitution is unique in such a way that it combines elements of US and Westminster government system. The federal legislature has the authority and power to pass laws related to different areas of governance (Clarke, 2002). The laws adopted by the legislature overrides other related state and territory laws that exist. However, Legislature have power have enact laws overexpress areas as opposed to state legislature who can enact a law on any subject. At both federal and national levels, Australian substantive law is related as it derived English common law system. The Australian high court is supreme and listens to appeals from state and federal courts on matters related to them. The common laws serve both the state and the territories.
Australia has sources of law which can be categorized into federal and state. The main source of law is the federal constitution. The constitution states the powers vested in Australian federal parliament. Another source of law that affects the building and construction business is common law. This is the law that covers ordinary citizens through courts and courts of appeal. The law ensures there is uniformity and all decisions about the common law are made in a court (Hutchinson, 2010). International Law is another source of law used in Australia. International law is applied when the country gets into a bilateral or multilateral treaty.
In the Australian building and construction industry, there have been some standards that have been developed with the aim of promoting efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness. In this context, a standard is a documentation that provides guidelines, rules and details of activities technical specification undertaken in building and construction (Lingard, 2005). A number of the standards are referenced in regulations which include Building Code of Australia which implies that it is mandatory to carry out activities in a particular which is specified. Some of the standards include but not limited to design standards which are related to consideration of people with disabilities when designing residential structures. Product and test method standards are related to doors, windows, and roofing that are used in the course of building. Installation and product standards are associated to the fitting of safety equipment such as smoke detectors in a building. External and internal waterproofing standards are related to how residential dwellings structured to avoid waterlogging.
It was established in 1975 with the aim of governing all the building works in Australia. The building act empowers regulation of various aspects of structures and building which include administrative terms vital in giving effect to the laws. The building act has approval forms that are a must-have requirement for any person venturing into building and construction. The approval forms are of importance in administration and development related issues in Australia (Briggs, 2005). Before an individual is allowed to get into the business, the local government planning has a provision of standard suite forms that must be filled to show that one will comply with the legislative requirements in the course of undertaking the building work. The building act states that all buildings should be constructed as per the Building Code of Australia.
Building Code of Australia (BCA)
Building Code of Australia (BCA) is a uniform arrangement of specialized provisions for the plan and development of buildings and different structures across Australia. The BCA is generated and guarded by Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), and a legal effect is given through the Building Act 1975. Annually, the BCA has reviewed amendments made to accommodate the changes that may have emerged in regulatory and technical specifications. It is important to be updated with basic changes that happen every year to ensure that the cost of construction work is in line with the code as well avoiding of disputes in contracts. ABCB aims at achieving national consistency to the standards. ABCB is an initiative of the National Government in conjunction with states and territories (Clegg, 2002). ABCB is focused on health, safety, sustainability and amenity issues through the implementation of National Construction Code (NCC). NCC comprises the BCA and Plumbing Code of Australia that acts under the Plumbing and Drainage Act of 2002 (Hampson, 2004). The BCA has reference documents in their support that provide specific details regarding building and construction industry. The reference documents are read together with Building Act have two volumes; one on commercial buildings (class 2 to 9 buildings) and the second one on residential buildings (Class 1 and 10 buildings). For any person who would like to access BCA, it is free of charge on the ABCB's website after registration.
Building and Construction Industry Payments Act (BCIPA)
BCIPA is set in place to ensure that all parties that are involved in an employment contract in the construction and building industry are given adequate protection so that they can receive payments for all works undertaken. The BCIPA covers commercial construction contracts but be extended to residential building work through a subcontractor with a residential project calling upon the Payment Act when demanding payments from the prime contractor (Loosemore, 2007). For an individual or an organization to be protected by BCIPA, there must be a strict adherence to procedures and provisions set for payments progress. The progress payments include payment periods, claims and schedules. If one does not receive payments after making a payment claim, according to BCIPA, one can involve adjudication which is a payment dispute resolution process (Creighton, 2005). According to BCIPA, there are documents that must be in place for payment security. The documents include payment claim, tax invoice, payment schedule and adjudication form.
BCIPA is administered by building and Construction Industry Payments Agency which is a branch of Building and Construction Commission (BCC). The agency is responsible for processing and administering adjudication applications. The Agency also provides legislation to have all adjudicators employed are qualified to handle the applications.
Fair Work Act
This an Act that was established in 2009 to regulate relation matters in workplaces all over Australia. When new employees are brought on board, employers are required to issue them with a Fair Work Information Statement. The Fair Work Information statement enlightens the workers they are required to serve under in any place of work (Sweet, 2012). It is therefore important for the foreigner venturing into the building and construction business that will employ people to know what Fair Work Act requires them to do.
Under Fair Work Act are coded such as Small Business Dismissal Code. The dismissal code gives the steps required to be followed by a small business employer when dismissing an employee. When an employee is dismissed without following the set code, Fair Work Australia can take action towards the organization.
National Employment Standards (NES)
NES is part of Fair Work Act of 2009. When a foreigner gets into Australia and sets up a building and construction business which is under private sector, all the employees are subjected to ten minimum legal standards. The ten standards include:
Definition of maximum working hours
- Right for parents to request flexible work arrangements
- Explanation of parental leave
- Explanation of annual leave
- Personal and compassionate leave
- Community service leave
- Long service leave
- Statement of public holidays
- Redundancy pay and termination notice
- Fair Work Information Statement issuance to employees.
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