NSW builders face up to 12 months prison if they perform unlicensed contracting work or don’t have the necessary insurance, under tough new laws.
From yesterday, builders licencing eligibility has also been tightened to stamp out illegal ‘‘phoenixing’’ where companies with unpaid debts close and re-emerge months later with a new trading name.
NSW Fair Trading Minister, Matthew Mason-Cox told The Australian that at its core, these new home building laws are about ensuring NSW consumers are appropriately protected without creating unnecessary red tape and regulation that will stifle industry growth and investment
"Under reductions to red tape, minor residential work valued at less than $5,000 can now be carried out without a licence. However plumbing, electrical and air-conditioning work will still need a licence regardless of the cost of the work," he said.
Other changes instituted by the NSW government, including the requirement for work valued at more than $20,000 to include a progress payment schedule accurately reflecting the work done and materials bought, will come into effect on March 1.
The change brings NSW into line with Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania, which already have a threshold of $5,000 or more.
In light of recent changes the acting NSW Premier Troy Grant has underlined that NSW government still expects Sydney’s new International Convention Centre to open by December 2016.