PM warned Aust construction may collapse
PM warned Aust construction may collapse TREVOR VEALE

PM warned Aust construction may collapse

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison has been warned Australia's building industry could fall apart if compulsory indemnity insurance issues are not tackled.

JMG Building Surveyors's John Massey - the certifier of Perth's Optus Stadium and RAC Arena - has penned a letter to the prime minister saying his firm will be out of business if the issue is not dealt with.

In the letter Mr Massey says the firm's contracts will be in trouble due to insurance companies offering private building certifiers coverage with exclusions for dangerous materials such as cladding, The Australian reported on Monday.

Mr Massey says the problem will not disappear, and state governments' approach of tackling increasing insurance premiums with laws to allow policy exclusions is inadequate.

JMG Building Surveyor's has no exclusions in its insurance, he added.

"We will be required to close our business without our current insurance cover. JMG and our staff are not alone. Building surveying firms across Australia have closed their doors and many more will be forced to follow," the letter says.

"Without a workable solution on the table very soon, I believe the building and construction industry throughout Australia will eventually collapse."

Mr Massey's warning comes after Australia's five largest industry groups demanded urgent action on the nation's "patchy and inconsistent" building rules.

Labor has accused the federal government of failing to show leadership on the issue, but the responsible minister blames the states and territories for the mess.

Leading figures in the building, construction, property and insurance industries have taken aim at state and territory governments for their mixed responses to combustible cladding on high-rise developments.

The groups argue the inconsistent approaches are fanning a crisis in the building supply chain.

They want a joint task force of government and industry representatives to oversee the response to a recent report into building surveying.

Federal Industry Minister Karen Andrews will again offer to fund a similar task force at the building ministers' forum on Thursday.



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