Monthly Archives: March 2021

Media Release – Regulator takes outsourcing websites to task

Media Release Monday, 1 March 2021

 Media Enquiries: Clayton Bennett – Senior Media Adviser 0417 854 245 or

 Regulator takes outsourcing websites to task

Victorians should be wary of anyone offering their building or plumbing services on online marketplaces and through apps.

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) warns that consumers should always check the credentials of anyone advertising on online platforms to make sure they are a registered or licensed professional.

The VBA is currently investigating a number of unregistered people advertising their services through online forums.

The VBA’s Executive Director of Operations Lynda McAlary-Smith said consumers should make sure they are dealing with a registered or licensed practitioner before agreeing to any work.

“Anyone looking to hire someone to work on their home should take some simple steps to protect themselves and their properties,” she said.

“You can check whether the builder or plumber you’re looking to use is registered with the VBA and whether they’ve faced any disciplinary action.”

Ms McAlary-Smith said that in some cases, people will pretend to be registered builders or licensed plumbers and carry out works that require proper training and accreditation.

This includes the installation of gas heaters or the construction of walls, both of which can have critical safety risks if installed or constructed incorrectly.

“Repairing or rectifying non-compliant work can also run into the thousands of dollars, putting added financial strain on homeowners,” she said.

“Building a house or renovating is often the biggest investment most people will ever make, so it is important homeowners protect themselves.”

In Victoria, consumers need to use a registered builder or building company for domestic building work worth more than $10,000.

To hire a plumber, always check that their registration or licence allows them to do the work needed.

Five signs your builder or plumber is unregistered or unlicensed:

  • • They cannot be found on the VBA’s Find A Practitioner search engine
  • • They do not ask you to enter into a written contract before work begins
  • • They ask for too much money upfront or at each payment stage
  • • They are not prepared to tell you about, or show you, examples of recent work or provide contact details of former clients
  • • They cannot or will not show you their VBA ID card

To find a registered builder or a registered or licensed plumber, go to

Visit the VBA consumer portal for tips on home renovation.

Public Consultation Required

A discussion paper is now open for public consultation in response to the Building Confidence Report. 

To varying degrees, all jurisdictions rely on private building surveyors as part of their building approvals process. The integrity of the process and those involved is essential to achieving National Construction Code compliant buildings.

Building Confidence Report (BCR) recommendations 9 and 11 relate specifically to private building surveyors:

  • Recommendation 9: That each jurisdiction establishes minimum statutory controls to mitigate conflicts of interest and increase transparency of the engagement and responsibilities of private building surveyors.
  • Recommendation 11: That each jurisdiction provides private building surveyors with enhanced supervisory powers and mandatory reporting obligations.

The objectives of these recommendations are to mitigate conflicts of interest, increase transparency in engagement and statutory responsibilities, provide enhanced supervisory powers and require mandatory reporting.

In response to these recommendations, the BCR Implementation Team has developed a discussion paper to facilitate stakeholder input and feedback into the content of the proposed model guidance. The feedback will test if the guidance meets the objectives of BCR recommendations 9 and 11, and the needs of those impacted.

Providing comment

Responses to questions in the discussion paper above are invited until 11:59PM AEST Monday 26 April 2021, via the ABCB’s Consultation Hub. Only comments submitted using the online form will be considered.

If you have any questions about these consultation, please contact