Register Engineers in NSW

Filed under Letters ~ by Editor on  2 Oct 2019

Statement from Engineers Australia, following the public release of the draft Design and Building Practitioners Bill.

Opal Tower at Sydney’s Olympic Park suburb evacuated due to "structural inconsistencies"

Engineers Australia has and continues to support the first recommendations in both the Shergold-Weir report and the Opal Tower report that there must be compulsory registration of engineers in NSW.

On several occasions, the NSW Government has made commitments to implement recommendation one from both reports as it applies to engineers.

The relevant Minister has said: ‘I can’t believe that in this state, engineers don’t have to be registered.’ (The Australian 26 June 2019)

A government media released dated 26 June 2019 stated: ‘The NSW Government is implementing four key reforms to deliver a more robust regulatory framework for the construction of buildings, including…a requirement that all building practitioners, including building designers, architects and engineers, be registered.’

The draft legislation which has been released for public comment by the Government does not deliver on these commitments and does not do enough to enhance community safety and consumer protection.

If the bill in its current form passes Parliament, we know that the Government will only require a select few engineers who work on construction of residential buildings to be registered.

The reality is that under the new regime, a person who has no experience as an engineer and no education as an engineer can call themselves an engineer and carry out unregulated engineering work on office buildings, factory buildings and major pieces of public infrastructure, including freeways, railways and bridges, and not have to be registered.

This is not an acceptable outcome for the people of NSW.

A comprehensive registration scheme for engineers delivers real benefits, is efficient and cost effective. In Queensland the agency that manages registration operates at no cost to government.

Engineers Australia calls on the Government to make good on its promise to introduce compulsory registration of engineers.”

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