There has been a substantial shake up announced with how building professionals will be regulated in Victoria with the state government announcing the formation of the Victorian Building Authority. This new authority will replace the Architects Registration Board Victoria (ARBV), Building Commission and the plumbers regulatory body. The move has blind-sided the ARBV and the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) with the following taken from the AIA website.
Abolition of Building Commission and Architects Registration Board of Victoria
The Institute was surprised at reports in last week’s Age newspaper of State Government plans to abolish the Architect’s Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV) as part of broader reforms to the construction industry. While there may be reasons to abolish the Victorian Building Commission, the Institute has not been provided with any information to suggest that this is required or justified with the Architects Registration Board of Victoria.
We believe that the ARBV’s main purpose – to protect the public through its rigid code of conduct – has been very effective over many years. Further, we are concerned that combining the roles of both bodies in a new Victorian Building Authority may blur, in the mind of the public, the distinction between Architect and Builder.
Following the announcement in Thursday’s Age, the Institute met with the Premier’s office to express concern at the lack of consultation in the lead up to this decision. We are now attempting to arrange a meeting with the Minister of Planning to seek clarification of these proposed structural changes, which are likely to have a significant impact on the regulation of our profession.
The Institute urges all members who are concerned about the proposal to abolish the ARBV to write directly to the Minister for Planning to express your views. His address is:
The Hon Matthew Guy MLC
Minister for Planning
Level 7, 1 Spring Street
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000
The implications of this decision are far reaching and have caused great concern and uncertainty in the Architecture community. Common areas of concern include
- Will the Architects Act be modified or abolished completely?
- Will the differences between architects and building designers be recognised or blurred?
- How will the registration process change for those who are currently mid registration?
- Will this be a step backwards in the endeavour to achieve a nation wide registration for architects?
- Will the public have the same level of protection and confidence under the new system?
As Shelley Penn, the national president of the AIA, said via twitter
“Proper regulation of the Architects Act requires an understanding of architecture.”
For further reading on the issue, Butter paper has a good write up.
Check back for updates as they occur
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