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Thursday, 25 February 2010
Page: 1149

Senator Milne to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes:

(i)   the Federal Government’s aim to implement through the Council of Australian Governments a seamless economy,

(ii)   that the Australian building industry is facing a crisis because of the impending withdrawal of four insurers from the home builders warranty insurance market and the requirement by all state governments, except Tasmania, that this insurance be mandatory,

(iii)   that the remaining insurers are unlikely to be able to meet the market demand post the end of the 2009-10 financial year with the result that many builders will be forced out of business or forced to work illegally,

(iv)   the failure of the New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian, and Western Australian state governments to address the ongoing performance problems with this insurance product in spite of 56 inquiries and failed interventions, and

(v)   the need for nationally consistent laws that protect consumers and builders alike; and

(b)   calls on the Government to:

(i)   immediately intervene with the states to remove the mandatory requirement for this insurance product as a short-term measure, and

(ii)   facilitate the development of a national regime that gives genuine protection to consumers and the building industry.