PHOTO: Sydney skyline and cranes Photo: Leigh Henningham

The new building commissioner appointed to raise standards in NSW’s construction industry – and his willingness to use his unprecedented legal powers to do so – is having a major impact on the standard of projects around the state.

Six months on from being given the right to enter and inspect construction sites, issue rectification and stop-work orders, and prevent settlement on sub-standard properties, industry watchers say David Chandler is proving the state’s saviour.

“The building commissioner is doing an outstanding job,” said Tom Forrest, CEO of developer lobby group Urban Taskforce Australia. “In weeding out the bad projects, he’s giving people confidence that the remaining ones are structurally sound, from good developers using good certifiers and good engineers, and fixing up any defects.

“That’s also helping rebuild confidence in the construction industry that underpins our economy, particularly after COVID.”

Apartment-owners peak group the Owners Corporation Network (OCN) is also enthusiastic about the effect he’s having on making sure only sound developments are put up for sale in the future.

“We’re optimistic that the new laws and levers being put in place by the NSW building commissioner will lift construction standards and improve consumer confidence in new apartments,” said OCN executive officer Karen Stiles.

“But for now, we’re still advising prospective purchasers of off-the-plan or new buildings to exercise caution and perform due diligence on the developer, builder and certifier.”