Master Builders Victoria (MBV) has welcomed today’s announcement of the appointment of Anna Cronin as the new CEO of the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). 

Ms Cronin’s appointment was announced by Premier Daniel Andrews as he also announced a broad review and reform package for the Victorian building industry, in the wake of the collapse and liquidation of builder Porter Davis. 

The Government has stepped in to support 560 Porter Davis clients who were left without insurance, despite having paid their insurance fees to the company. 

Mr Andrews announced this morning that the Government would introduce a specific new offence with a significant penalty, for any builder who takes insurance deposits and fails to buy the appropriate insurance policies on behalf of  their clients. 

MBV CEO (Interim) Michaela Lihou welcomed the Premier’s announcement of the new penalties, saying while cases like Porter Davis were clearly in the minority, any strengthening of the safeguards was a positive step forward. 

“We know, by far and away, the overwhelming majority of our builders do the right thing for the sake of their clients and their hard-earned reputations,” she said. 

“However, for the small number who don’t, it is clearly appropriate that there should be tough penalties and stringent enforcement to make sure everyone understands their obligations and the consequences of not meeting those obligations.” 

Ms Lihou also welcomed the announcement of Anna Cronin as the new head of the VBA for a two-year term. 

“With a distinguished career in our industry as Victoria's Commissioner for Better Regulation and Red Tape Commissioner, we know that Anna will bring a wealth of experience to support the Government’s planned review and reforms,” said Ms Lihou. 

Mr Andrews said the forthcoming reforms would be designed to “deliver better protection for Victorians building a home, while providing clarity to the building industry”  

“It’s important that these reforms underpin and validate the necessary confidence of both the public and the building industry in the future of the building and construction industry.”  

“We welcome them and look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Government to deliver fair and reasonable reforms and safeguards for a better built environment”.  

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