The ACT government's building reforms will help to ensure that any surge in construction activity during the COVID-19 recovery doesn't lump Canberra with a legacy of defect-ridden buildings, minister Gordon Ramsay has said.
Mr Ramsay will on Thursday deliver an update to the ACT Legislative Assembly on the status of the government's building reform package, which will show that all but two of 43 policies are yet to be implemented.
The speech will be delivered a day after Mr Ramsay announced plans to re-introduce government certifiers in the ACT, in a move designed to restore public confidence in the territory's construction sector.
The wider package of reforms, which has been plagued by lengthy delays, has included the introduction of minimum design documentation rules, an expansion of builders' exams and the granting of new powers to the territory's construction watchdog.
Mr Ramsay, whose building quality improvement portfolio was essentially created to accelerate the implementation of the reforms, told The Canberra Times that the changes had "clearly lifted the bar" in terms of the quality of construction work in the ACT.
Mr Ramsay said the raft of policies to tighten regulation in the sector and crackdown on shoddy construction work would be all the more important as Canberra fought its way out of the coronavirus-induced economic slump.
"It is going to be really important as we come out the other side of COVID, there is going to be a lot of construction work that is part of that stimulus," Mr Ramsay said on Wednesday.
"I have no intention whatsoever that we will have a legacy, in five, 10, 20 years down the track, that the stimulus has led to poor-quality buildings.
"I am absolutely determined that with the reforms that we are doing now, we are lifting the quality so that the [construction work] ... is a long-term benefit."
Mr Ramsay will also use Thursday's speech to renew the government's commitment to finally establishing a registration scheme for engineers working in the ACT, although the specific model and the timeframe for its implementation remain up in the air.
Professionals Australia last month renewed calls for the ACT to introduce the scheme following the passage of laws to create a licensing regime in NSW.
More than seven years have passed since then ACT workplace safety minister Simon Corbell pledged to bring in an engineers' license scheme, a promise made in the wake of series of major building failures - including the Barton bridge collapse.
The ACT government's failure to deliver on that promise has long frustrated other construction professions which are more heavily regulated.
The Australian Institute of Building Surveyors on Wednesday singled out engineers as one of the professions in the building supply chain which were managing to escape government scrutiny in the ACT.