Complaints against builders almost doubles as McGowan Government fails to act on reforms

Revelations that the number of complaints made against builders has almost doubled in recent years is further evidence the government has been dragging its feet on reform, Shadow Housing Minister Steve Martin said.

Figures uncovered in Budget Estimates last night show the number of complaints made by homeowners against residential builders has surged from 591 in 2019-2020 to 1003 in 2021-22.

Up until March 2023, 745 complaints had been made against builders so far this year in relation to building completions.

“The McGowan Government initiated a range of homebuilding grants but failed to put in place the proper checks and balances to ensure there were safeguards in place to protect those homeowners,” Mr Martin said.

“The result is a staggering increase in the number of people left aggrieved with sub-standard or builds that are over budget and delayed.

“The McGowan Government has dragged its feet on implementing key reforms from the Building Confidence report published in 2018.

“It’s been four years since those reforms, including the recommendation for mandatory inspections, was suggested yet there is no urgency to actually implement them.

“To hear the McGowan Government make more excuses for the delay in Estimates is extraordinary, it has clearly been asleep at the wheel.”

WA Liberal Leader Libby Mettam said comments that the number of complaints was commensurate with the level of building activity was small comfort for those affected.

“Building a home is a major life event and to see so many homeowners impacted by an industry that has been allowed to grow largely unchecked is concerning and stressful for those affected,” Ms Mettam said.

“How many reports and reviews does the McGowan Government need to undertake before it implements key recommendations that would actually help homeowners avoid these unnecessary delays?