Justice system bears brunt of ‘dodgy’ boom-time builds

“There seems to be a perfect storm [in the industry] Now the pressure is mounting on the other side [building dispute resolution],” He said today.


“For my part, I’ve decided to go through the courts and we’ll just have to wait and play. Sad, but what can you do?”

Analysis of the proceedings record of the arbitral tribunal today It shows that in the past nine months, the Commissioner has brought almost 270 construction complaints to the courts.

About two-thirds of these disputes are still before the courts, and the rest have either been decided or withdrawn.

At current referral rates, the number of complaints brought to the Tribunal will reach 360 by the end of the financial year, up from 329 in 2021/22 (a 53% increase between 2020/21 and 2021/22).

The impact of the influx of disputes is reflected in the Tribunal’s most recent annual report, which confirms that construction disputes are now the second largest type of dispute, both commercial and civil.

Judge Janine Pritchard, chair of the tribunal, said the number was only expected to increase in the coming years due to the construction boom.

“The increase in construction applications is expected to continue for several years, as complaints about defective or unsatisfactory construction work can be lodged up to six years after completion of the work,” she said.

The increase in the number of complex construction disputes brought to court has also contributed to inflated final processing times, with 80% of new applications resolved within 35 weeks, seven weeks more than the 28-week target.

The Tribunal has implemented a series of changes over the past year to meet growing demand and has secured funding for additional members.

today Also learned that the digital filing system is expected to be implemented by July.

The most common complaints relate to paint, roof/ceiling framing, water ingress, internal plaster/hardwall plaster and roofing work.

Others are contractual in nature, and many object to passing soaring material and labor costs from builders to consumers.

The average cost of building a home in Perth experienced its biggest increase in two years since the turn of the century, reaching $383,528 in November.

  • Names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.

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