Shonky builders run rings around BSA

22 Oct 2010 10:41 AMJann Stuckey

22 October 2010

More Queenslanders were ripped-off by shonky builders in 2009-10, as the toothless Building Services Authority (BSA) continued to fail consumers.

LNP Public Works spokeswoman Jann Stuckey said new figures* showed the BSA had failed in its primary duty of regulating the industry to protect consumers from dodgy builders.

“Surely a major part of the BSA’s responsibility in licensing builders is to keep the shonks out,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Recently acquired figures show a 38 per cent surge in the number of Queenslanders who have been forced to make a claim through the BSA Home Warranty Insurance scheme after they were victims of a shonky builder.

“The fact that 337 claims were paid out shows the BSA is not doing enough to identify and expose dodgy builders. It is not adequately protecting Queensland consumers.”

Ms Stuckey said the global financial crisis had hit the building industry, but it was no excuse for the BSA to expose consumers to poor trade practices.

“As the Minister notes in his response, not all of these complaints were the result of businesses going broke,” she said.

“In essence, the Minister has failed to ensure the BSA protects Queenslanders from dishonest builders as evidenced by the spike in claims for failure to complete homes and poor workmanship.”

“It’s all well and good to have a safety net to help people when things go wrong – but the bigger question is why wasn’t the BSA taking a more active role policing builders beforehand to stop this from happening?”

“It’s just another example of Minister Schwarten’s incompetence when it comes to managing a critical area of responsibility.”

* Source – QON 1854-2010