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ACT construction industry calls for trade licensing requirements

Canberra's construction industry is reigniting calls for trade licensing requirements in a bid to improve building quality across the territory.



Currently in the ACT, a number of trades do not require a licence to complete work including carpenters, joiners, glaziers, bricklayers, painters, plasterers, tilers and waterproofers.


A group of Canberra construction businesses have teamed up with the ACT branch of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union in support of a licencing policy they believe is "long overdue".


The group will write to ACT Sustainable Building and Construction Minister Rebecca Vassarotti on Wednesday calling for a formal trade licensing scheme to be introduced.

CFMEU ACT branch secretary Zach Smith said the idea was not revolutionary; states including New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have all introduced comprehensive licensing schemes.


"When you talk to people in Canberra, they're actually quite surprised that to be a carpenter or a bricklayer or a tiler you don't need trade licensing," he said.

Mr Smith said a licensing scheme would give Canberrans peace of mind that "skilled and experienced" tradespeople were working on job sites.

"What's more is that if something goes wrong, if there is defective work, then there's a license holder that can be held to account," he said.

On Wednesday, Mr Smith will sign the letter alongside industry representatives Jesse Ahern, director of CTR Pacific, ACT Interiors director Justin Fahy, managing director of 4Site Commercial Michael O'Grady, and director of Civion Construction Milan Kraljevic.

The group says licensing requirements would improve building quality in the ACT.

"Because these key trades are not currently licensed in the ACT, skilled tradespeople are devalued and reputable companies attempting to produce robust, quality work are ruthlessly undercut," the group will state in the letter.

"Builders and consumers should be able to trust the quality of every trade employed on an ACT building site."

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