Builders in the ACT claim there are gaps in the new licence rules proposed for property developers in the ACT.
Under the government bill introduced on Thursday, developers will have to hold a licence for the first time. They would be required to pay for repairs if there are problems with their buildings.
But the Master Builders Association of the ACT says the bill, which is very likely to become law, is flawed because it does not include designers and architects in its provisions.
This means, the head of the builders' association said, that "builders and developers will be left holding responsibility for the failures of others in the building process".
The association's chief executive, Michael Hopkins, said that other jurisdictions have tougher laws: "Even with this reform, the ACT's building and developer accountability system is far from nation leading."
He predicts that a softening of the proposed law from a previous version "will only encourage purchasers to pursue costly litigation against builders and developers when building defects arise".
Developers also criticised the proposed legislation.
The Property Council said there should be a "rethink" of the legislation. It said it would "increase the cost of new homes".
CFMEU ACT branch secretary Zach Smith, who has campaigned for developer licensing, said the changes should not increase costs for developers who were already doing the right thing.
Under the scheme as now proposed, there would be a public register of licensed developers. It would also give the government greater power to issue rectification orders and disqualify rule-breakers.
The licensing scheme would mean that builders and property developers would be liable for building defects for the first two years after a building was occupied unless they could prove otherwise.
The scheme would establish a property developer licensing registrar.
The laws would define a property developer broadly, and include a person who either contracted or arranged building work, the owner of the land on which the building work takes place or a builder.
The ACT's Construction Minister, Rebecca Vassarotti, said the government wanted all elements of the building supply chain accountable.
"These decisive steps to enhance the regulation and monitoring of the industry will help to make sure that it operates as its best and upholds the highest standards," Ms Vassarotti said.
"Dodgy development choices by big businesses are estimated to have cost Canberrans more than $50 million each year. This law change will add property developers to the chain of accountability for building quality and safety."
The ACT government first committed in 2019 to introduce a scheme that would require property developers to hold a licence to build projects in the territory.
The bill is likely to be debated in the first half of 2024, with a transition period before licences are required.
"The ACT government will continue to engage with the local industry and other stakeholders to progress this reform, as part of a broader package of reforms for the building and construction industry," the government said.
The Property Council's ACT executive director, Shane Martin, had described the ACT's developer licensing scheme as a "policy missile being used to crack open a nut" that would increase the cost of new homes in the territory.
He called for it to be amended. If it isn't, he said in an opinion piece for The Canberra Times, it would "directly dent investment in new stock, increase the cost of new homes and increase our rents in Canberra".