The Building and Energy division of the Western Australian Government’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has released a consultation paper proposing changes to the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 (BSR Act) to allow for the registration of building engineers and to introduce a code of conduct for engineers.
The proposed changes to the BSR Act would also require all types of registered practitioners to work within their area of competence. The categories of engineer proposed to be registered include:
- Fire safety
Engineers Australia General Manager – Western Australia, Susan Kreemer Pickford, said the registration of engineers would result in far higher levels of community safety.
“While West Australians in many other professions, including doctors, architects and lawyers, must register to be able to legally carry out work, there is nothing to stop a person from calling themselves an engineer, even if they are not an engineer,” Ms Kreemer Pickford explained.
“As things stand, consumers have no real way of knowing whether they are dealing with an engineer who is currently qualified and competent, or if they maintain standards through ongoing professional development and are bound by a code of conduct.”
An in-depth review of WA building legislation was prompted by the Shergold Weir report which was commissioned by the Building Ministers’ Forum following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017 and growing concerns over the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems in the building and construction industry in Australia.
“We are seeing long-overdue nation-wide shake-up of the building and construction industry,” added Ms Kreemer Pickford.
“Both Victoria and NSW have recently introduced comprehensive laws for the compulsory registration of engineers. While Engineers Australia would like to see WA reforms extend beyond the building industry, we commend the Government on this excellent first step.”
Engineers Australia has begun consulting with its members to inform a submission on the Government’s proposals.
The closing date for submissions is Thursday 3 December 2020.