The passing of the Professional Engineers Registration Bill 2019 on Wednesday 28 August will ensure that professional engineers in Victoria operating in structural, civil, mechanical, electrical, and fire safety engineering will require registration to practice.

Master Builders believes this is a positive step towards increasing quality standards and assurance in the building and construction industry and ensuring greater accountability over the provision of Victoria’s infrastructure projects. This is becoming all the more important as Victoria experiences record levels of infrastructure and engineering activity and the construction of residential dwellings to meet the state’s rapid population growth.

The passing of the Professional Engineers Bill 2019 underscores the importance of obtaining registration in the building and construction industry. Registration acts as a filter to remove those not sufficiently qualified and experienced to practice and that a consistent minimum level of standard is expected. Indeed, Master Builders has long advocated for domestic mandatory subcontractor registration for key trades where high levels of defective work exist, which led to Victorian Parliament’s passage of a bill in 2018 for mandatory trade registration. While Master Builders maintains its view that this is a positive step, the additional inclusion of a broad employee licensing scheme will make such a scheme more costly than it is beneficial. It is vital that the Victorian government in its consultation with industry stakeholders like Master Builders understands that any mandatory trade registration scheme must be simple, effective, and practical in its approach to ensure a real improvement in quality and accountability.  

In the meantime, building practitioners and consumers should always seek a tradesperson registered with the VBA for any building and construction work conducted.