The ACT government will continue its crackdown on dodgy builders and developers by hiring eight new building inspectors, helping it carry out an extra 1000 site inspections and assessments each year.
Building Quality Improvement Minister Gordon Ramsay has announced $8.9 million in funding over the next four years, as part of the 2019-20 budget.
The package also includes four new compliance officers to help administer more than 450 building licence exams each year, and four staff tasked with informing consumers and builders of their rights and obligations.
The announcement comes as an ACT Legislative Assembly inquiry continues to examine the litany of problems plaguing Canberra's development boom. Some industry experts have described the issues as being at "crisis point".
While the outcome of the inquiry is yet to be seen, the ACT government is already implementing 43 building regulation reforms, of which 28 will be in place by the end of June.
Mr Ramsay said the new funding and existing measures clearly signalled there was no place in Canberra for builders and developers who did things "on the cheap" and left homeowners footing the bill.
"We want to make it clear that if you are building [structures] of the highest quality, you are welcome here in Canberra," he said.
"But if you are not, we will find you and we will seek to remove you from the industry."
Mr Ramsay said the process to recruit the eight new building inspectors was already under way, and he expected them to start as soon as possible following the budget.
The inspectors will join the rapid regulatory response team, a group of inspectors created last year to complete site inspections and preliminary assessments of complaints. The team has been referred 678 matters so far this financial year.
"Nearly 350 of those have been resolved quickly and effectively without the need for further escalation," Mr Ramsay said.
"Ninety-two have been referred for formal investigation, and as part of that work there has been a significant crackdown on the dodgy work that has happened around Canberra.
"There have been 178 demerit points issued. There have been 28 stop-work notices that have been issued, including 17 in a blitz that was recently carried out in Gungahlin.
"There have been nine occasions where there has been direction to undertake further building work, to make sure that the work is of the highest quality."
Mr Ramsay said the eight new inspectors would help the government carry out an extra 1000 inspections and site assessments each year, while also increasing authorities' visibility on building sites.
Construction occupations registrar Ben Green said with 8000 building approvals active at any time in the ACT, it was critical to target the areas that carried the greatest risk to the community.
"With the increase in our resources, we'll be able to get to more of those building sites," Mr Green said.
He said four new staff focused on administering the ACT's new licensing requirements, which require all aspiring builders to pass an exam, would help mitigate the risk to the community.
The government will also target licence holders who have received complaints to re-sit their tests, while other existing builders will be tested at random when renewing their licences.
Only 17 people had completed licensing exams so far, after they came into effect earlier this month, he said, with a pass rate of about 80 per cent.
"Obviously the poor part of building quality has hit some of our citizens hard," Mr Green said.
"We want to prevent that from happening, and anything we can do to assist that is going to be beneficial."
Asked whether the ACT government would consider future reforms including the creation of a sinking fund to help people left out of pocket by dodgy builders, or creating a database in order to randomly select certifiers instead of allowing builders to select their preferred option, Mr Ramsay said the government was "always open to new ideas".
The $8.9 million spend will be offset through builder licence application fees and an increase in the annual builder levy of 0.1 per cent.