The role of our department and the QBCC

Roles and functions

There are three critical functions which ensure that Queensland’s building and construction industry is governed by regulation that is effective and well enforced, which are:

  • the elected government (which includes the Minister) makes decisions about policy matters and create the building standards and laws which govern the industry
  • the Public Service (which includes the Department of Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works (the department)) provides support to the Minister and government, for example, by giving advice and recommendations, implementing decisions, and drafting laws and other instruments
  • regulatory bodies (such as the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC)), take action to ensure compliance with the standards and laws, and also educate and provide advice to industry participants and consumers on their rights and responsibilities.

In line with the above, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Public Works is responsible for the regulatory framework which applies to the building and construction industry in Queensland. Along with the other members of Parliament, the Minister takes action to make or change laws which apply to the industry.

The department supports the Minister by developing and maintaining the building-related legislation, standards and codes that strengthen and support the built environment, as well as the professionals, practitioners and the community that operate within or are impacted by the built environment. While the department does not have the authority to change laws or make significant policy decisions, the department provides information and recommendations to the Minister and government to assist them in performing this function.

The QBCC is an independent statutory body which performs its regulatory functions objectively and impartially. The QBCC’s powers and functions are set out in various pieces of legislation which regulate industry participants such as building contractors and trades, plumbers and drainers, certifiers, and pool safety inspectors.  The QBCC provide support, education and advice for those who undertake building work and consumers and ensures that the requirements outlined in the regulatory framework are implemented well and complied with.

The reform agenda outlined in the Queensland Building Plan demonstrates these three separate functions, as the department provides advice and recommendations to support the Minister’s decisions on the policy initiatives and changes to the regulatory framework. Once the policy decisions have been made and any relevant laws have been approved by government, QBCC is responsible for implementing and administering the changes (including the security of payment reforms which provide greater financial security for subcontractors and changes to the fire protection and mechanical services frameworks).