Government certifiers will be used to inspect large-scale residential developments under the latest ACT government reform designed to crack down on dodgy construction work and restore public confidence in the sector.
ACT Minister for Building Quality Improvement Gordon Ramsay will on Wednesday announce plans to establish a team of public sector certifiers, in a move which breaks up the private sector's 20-year hold on the profession which oversees construction work in the nation's capital.
The government isn't taking back full control of building certification in Canberra, with the small team set to only be used to inspect construction work on complex, multi-unit developments.
The new team of certifiers won't be established before the ACT election, meaning Labor will need to win the October 17 ballot in order to deliver on the plan.
The territory's model of private certification has been widely criticised by buyers and industry professionals amid concerns it gives rise to conflicts of interest.
In the ACT, building certifiers, who inspect sites at different stages of the construction process to check compliance with rules and regulations, are appointed by the owner of the land.
In the case of multi-unit developments, that means the developer is responsible for hiring the certifier - the person responsible for assessing their work.
The ACT is the only jurisdiction which has fully privatised certifiers.
A number of witnesses to the ACT Legislative Assembly's ongoing inquiry into Canberra's construction sector have called for changes to the system, with respected waterproofing expert Ross Taylor describing the model as "fundamentally flawed".
The government hopes the use of public certifiers will give prospective buyers more confidence about the quality of a building. It also hope it will deter developers from cutting corners during the construction process, which lead to costly defects.
The Canberra Times understands the team will start with about eight to 10 certifiers.
Mr Ramsay will also provide more detail on Wednesday about the proposed model for the government's contentious property developer licensing scheme.
He has confirmed that the scheme, which has attracted criticism from property industry groups, will seek to subject developers to "fit and proper person" assessments.
Mr Ramsay said the licensing scheme, coupled with establishment of a team of in-house certifiers, would help to "clean up" the city's construction sector and ensure Canberra had the "highest quality buildings".
"When I took up the job of Minister for Building Quality Improvement, I said that I would stop the rot and crackdown on shifty players throughout the whole construction supply chain," Mr Ramsay said.
"This team of public sector certifiers will sit alongside the government's licencing scheme for property developers and break the link between developers and building certifiers.
"Buying a house or apartment is the most significant investment in most people's lives and I want to ensure that people can have confidence in the build quality of their home."