Peter Costello

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Productivity Commission Report:  Review of Legislation Regulating the Architectural Profession

NO.107

Productivity Commission Report: Review of Legislation Regulating the Architectural Profession

The Government is today releasing the report of the Productivity Commission inquiry into legislation regulating the architectural profession.

The inquiry served as a national review of participating States and Territories’ legislation, as part of their commitments made under the Competition Principles Agreement signed by all Australian Governments in 1995. The Commonwealth has no legislation regulating architects.

The guiding principle for competition policy reviews is that legislation should not restrict competition unless it can be demonstrated that the benefits to the community outweigh the costs and that the objectives can only be achieved by restricting competition.

The Commission’s preferred option was to repeal Architects Acts and statutory certification of architects. The Commission found these to add very little to other measures for addressing concerns about the quality of the built environment and the various health and safety issues related to buildings. The Commission expected that this option would lead to current architects establishing a credible system of certification and marketing the advantages of their qualifications.

Alternatively, the Commission found that existing Architects Acts could be improved by establishing a national system of registration — although the Commission considered that this objective could be more readily achieved under self regulation than harmonised State/Territory legislation. The Commission found no case for extending current regulation.

All States and Territories have agreed to participate in the development of a national response to the review, and a Working Group will be set up for this purpose. The Working Group will contain a representative from each State and Territory and will present its proposed response to heads of Government for consideration.

As the Commonwealth does not have any legislation regulating architects, responsibility for responding to the Commission’s legislative review is entirely a matter for the States and Territories.

CANBERRA
16 November 2000

16 Nov 2000

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