Home Warranty Insurance
Better Business Oct/Nov 04
During the beginning of the Spring session of Parliament a number of rally's
have been staged in Macquarie Street to demonstrate the feelings of industries
affected by the Carr Labor Government and its Home Warranty Insurance mess
following the demise of the Building Services Corporation (BSC).
I attended in support the NSW Builders rally that visited Parliament House on
Thursday 2 September 2004.
The building industry is one of the largest employers in NSW but the Carr
Government has sat on it's hands when it comes to making sure builders get a
fair go. Two years ago builders came to Parliament House to ask Bob Carr to do
something about the insurance crisis. They returned just as angry, just as fed
up, finding it just as tough to build in NSW.
As small business operators, builders are vital to the economic soundness of
this State's economy. Most of the 40,000 odd building licences held in NSW are
held by small business builders and provide work for about 110,000 registered
tradesmen and women in NSW, as well as providing employment for almost 3,000
apprentices across the state. Most of these are young kids - straight out of
school and needing a start in life.
Currently as many as 60% of builders can't obtain Home Warranty Insurance in
NSW. As a result, some builders are forced to skirt the laws and build under
owner-builder conditions, without insurance. Those who buy insurance are often
forced to surrender the deeds to their homes just to afford the premium. No
other industry requires you to put up your own home just to work.
But it is not only builders who are hurt by this problem. What about the
consumer, the Mums and Dads who want to be part of the great Australian Dream?
They are the ones that finally end up paying the premiums and do they get a
decent level of coverage.
Speaking at the rally Opposition Leader, Mr Brogden said the BSC system had
operated successfully in NSW until 1997, when it was scrapped by the Carr
Government. Since the Carr Labor Government privatised the BSC Home Warranty
Insurance premiums have risen by 500%. The re-establishment of a BSC would allow
the industry to get back on its feet. The experience in NSW and the current
experience in Queensland is that an industry-funded, Government-run scheme is
the best option for providing effective insurance cover for builders and
consumers. John Brogden also declared that a NSW Coalition Government would
relieve the strain on builders, by re-instating the Building Services