Spike in reporting of potentially unsafe products to building watchdog

23 August 2021

Growing awareness of the potential dangers of unsafe building products has led to a notable increase in the number of products reported to the State’s building industry watchdog.

The number of potential Non-Conforming Building Products (NCBP) reported to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) by industry participants and consumers has almost doubled in the past 12 months - from 127 in 2019-2020, to 247 in 2020-2021.

QBCC Commissioner, Brett Bassett, said this result reflected the increasing awareness of the laws and their effectiveness by members of the public and the building industry.

“Queensland has the strongest NCBP laws in the country, which help to protect all citizens wherever they live, work or gather,” Mr Bassett said.

“People are becoming more familiar with the laws and the QBCC’s role as the authority investigating potential NCBPs.”

The QBCC cannot name products currently under investigation but they include a fire-safety system for walls and floors, a roof tile product and a water-filtration product. NCBP laws were introduced in 2017 and ensure that everyone in the building product supply chain is accountable for the products they design, manufacture, supply or use.

“QBCC investigators have found that the great majority of products reported to us are safe, and conform to the relevant building codes, which is very reassuring,” he said.

“Queenslanders have a right to feel safe wherever they live, work or gather, and they are increasingly aware that we are the authority that investigates building products.”

In 2020-21, the QBCC finalised 240 investigations. This means that 645 investigations have been closed out of 697 enquiries received since the laws took effect on 1 November 2017.

“We believe that 13 of the products investigated in 2020-21 are NCBPs, and we are currently determining an appropriate course of action in regards to each of these products,” Mr Bassett said.

Potential action ranges from a conciliative and educational approach, to prosecution, and a Ministerial Recall Order, where a product must be removed from sale or use in Queensland.

BACKGROUND

Non-conforming building products present a safety risk, or do not meet the required standards for the use in which they are intended, or represented to achieve.

Between 1 November 2017 and 30 June 2021, the QBCC received 697 complaints or enquiries about potential NCBPs, with 645 investigations closed and 52 ongoing (some enquiries have carried over from previous years).

During that period, 24 products have been determined to be NCBPs.

Contact: 

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