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The Age newspaper this morning revealed that Victorian Minister for Planning Matthew Guy will at any moment announce the disbanding of the Building Commission, the Plumbing Industry Commission, and the Architects Registration Board of Victoria. They are to be replaced, says The Age, by a new building authority.

The ARBV , in existence since 1923, is at the core of the Architects Act . The Act governs how architects are educated and registered, and how complaints against them are handled. The Age quotes Matthew Guy as saying, “The establishment of the Victorian Building Authority in conjunction with these other reforms is a critical step in ensuring the ad hoc approach to industry regulation over the past decade is brought to an end.”

It’s very early days, but if Mr Guy is serious about this there are many aspects that will affect the profession in Victoria. Here are a few to perhaps keep an eye on.

  • The future status of the Architects Act.
  • The watering down or altering of offences in the Architects Act. For instance, will a building industry authority be particularly interested in protecting of expressions such as “architectural design” if it is also the authority for building designers.
  • Whether the Architects Tribunal is also to be disbanded and folded into the larger authority, which the article suggests may rely on an expanded VCAT.
  • What the problem is with the ARBV as it currently is. The Age ties this revamp to the recent and heavily publicised problems at the Building Commission, but doesn’t mention any at the ARBV.
  • The effects on the long-proposed Australia-wide registration system if Victorian architectural registrations are integrated into a new state building authority.
  • The fate of the four staff members at the ARBV, and architect-elected board members.
  • The effect on the accreditation of architectural courses.
  • Changes to the architect-governed registration examination.
  • Fee increases, as happened when the old NZ board was replaced by the NZRAB.
  • Mandatory CPD governance.
  • Alterations to the roles of the AIA and ACA-Victoria, to cover ARBV roles lost in the transition.

If the disbanding of the ARBV goes ahead, it’s going to be messy, and I suspect will leave many wondering what the point of it all was. Apparently it’s all about consistency and transparency. Hopefully Mr Guy will let us know a bit more than that.

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Posted by Peter on 29.11.12 in 



This was all done and dusted in 1998. Heres a link to my summary of the process presented to the Productivity Commission in 2000.

by David White on 12.11.29, 04:37 pm ·#

Thanks David. I am working through this and your forum post now. I did not see this ‘reform’ as being a continuation of the recommendations of the PC report but I guess it is. Haven’t read it for years. I wonder if Mr Guy has read it.

by peter on 12.11.29, 11:23 pm ·#

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