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Fair trading laws promote healthy competition in business, ensure that products and services are safe, and protect both businesses and consumers from unfair treatment. Prior to, and during, any kind of build, it is important to reference the Fair Trading website for guidance in complying with local and federal laws. There are numerous pages within the Fair Trading website where you will find sources available for each stage of your build. Whether you are planning the construction of a new build, or simply carrying out home renovations, the resources on the Fair Trading website will help guide you on any issues pertaining to Fair Trade building laws.
Fair trading laws are applicable at state, territory and federal level, which means you are protected by, and under the legislation of, different laws, depending on the location of the build. For example, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) ensures fair trading practices at federal level for both businesses and consumers. The CCA has a very broad scope, so it will cover most of the requirements for your build. Some examples of what the CCA covers are: dealing with suppliers and customers, product safety, and ensuring pricing is competitive.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), who are responsible for promoting fair and ethical marketplaces, primarily use the CCA to ensure that businesses remain compliant. You can access further information on the ACCC and the CCA, as well as links to Fair Trading websites at territory and state levels, via the Australian Government Building website.
Whether you are the owner of or employed by a construction & building firm, or simply a customer who wants to familiarise yourself with a Code of Practice, the Fair Trading website can help you find the information you need. There are established industries and government codes of practice; however, there also exist business specific codes of practice. It is important to know the distinctions between the different codes of practice, as some industry Codes of Practice are mandatory.
On the federal level Fair Trading website, you can access a checklist which will guide you through the mandatory requirements and provides further links to ensure Codes of Practice are compliant at state and territory levels. The availability of these resources is essential in building trust and confidence between the construction industry and consumers.
While standards are designed to ensure quality, safe products and services, they are also helpful in a number of other ways. Standards, whether mandatory or under industry guidelines, can help improve products and services. A structured set of standards is a useful resource for both builders and consumers. They set the bar for what consumers should expect from exceptional products or services. By frequently checking the Australian Standards section of the Fair Trading website, you can keep up to date with the latest quality improvements and pass them onto your customers.
Consumers trust and talk about construction companies who meet quality standards. It’s the gold seal of approval that says the build of their home is in good hands. When it comes to a new build not meeting mandatory building standards, it can delay or even prevent work continuing. Houspect provides independent inspections, which will help ensure that all work being carried out is within the guide to standards and tolerances and meets all relevant codes. Learning why building inspections are important is the first step. So make sure to take advantage of the extensive resources available on the Fair Trading websites. Houspect can also provide you with a free quote on a stage inspection of your build or a multiple stage package to cover part or your entire build.