Australia

New building rules a month away: minister

Industry Minister Karen Andrews says cladding and other defect issues surrounding existing properties could be ongoing for sometime.

The timetable for new building code rules should be known in the next month but existing property issues could continue for some time, Industry Minister Karen Andrews says.

Ms Andrews met with state and territory building ministers last week in an attempt to end the growing crisis of confidence within the building industry which has seen some insurers pull out of the sector.

She said they reached a "landmark decision" to commit nationally to implement the 24 building recommendations of the Shergold report commissioned by the building ministers two years ago.

The Building Codes Board will establish the time frame for implementing those recommendations.

"They are going to be coming back to us within a month with what their program is to make sure we can move quickly to implementation," the minister told Sky News on Sunday.

However, the outlook for properties with cladding issues and other defects is not so clear and could be "ongoing for some time".

"We may not have discovered all of issues that are there, it may not be discovered for a number of years," she said.

Even then, Victoria has said it will not publicly release information it discovers, fearing it would make those buildings potential targets for the likes of arsonists.

Ms Andrews said there are also concerns over what that information would do to the a particular property market and to the value of those properties.

"We certainly don't want to be acting to undermine any confidence in the building sector," she said.

Asked what would she would do if she was living in a potential defective building, she said: "I would certainly be asking some questions of the body corporate about what the status of any audit that had been conducted in a building I was living or owned an apartment in."

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