Builders plan QBCC class action

A SYDNEY-based advocacy group is representing a push for a class action against the Queensland Building and Construction Commission over what it claims to be unfair treatment and bullying. The SR Group, headed by professional advocate Susie Bennell, wants builders, tradesmen, subcontractors and construction workers who believe they have been unjustly treated to join the action. The goal is to drive legislative reform, licence reinstatement, and losses and damages for those affected. A meeting is being planned for October 20 to bring together people who feel they have been adversely affected.

A spokesperson said builders were receiving penalties that amounted to licence demerits unfairly and without proper mediation.

 “There is no full mediation service between the home owner and the builder,” she said. A poster seeking people in the construction industry to join the class action claims the QBCC had been abusing its power as a regulator. “The watchdog is meant to police the dodgy builders in the industry, but instead cripples legitimate businesses whilst the real crooks disappear before they can be caught,” the poster claims. A Department of Housing spokesman said a threefold increase in the level of penalties this year in most cases related to defective work. He said the penalty levels were raised in 2014 but have only just come into force. “They’re larger than they used to be,” the spokesman said. 

Bill Hoffman Sunshine Coast Daily