Non-Conforming Building Products

Complaints about Non-Conforming Building Products

Non-conforming building products and materials are those that do not meet the required standards for the use in which they are intended.

This is a nation-wide issue that not only affects everyone in the building and construction industry, but all community members who live, work, study and play in the built environment around us.

A non-conforming building product is a building product that:

  • Is not, or will not be safe; or
  • Does not, or will not, comply with the relevant regulatory provisions; or
  • The product does not perform, or is not capable of performing, for the use to the standard it is represented to perform by or for a person in the chain of responsibility for the product.

What is a building product?

A building product is any material or other thing associated with, or that could be associated with a building or the construction of a building.

It is not intended to capture any products which are not considered to form part of building or plumbing work and not all products purchased are building products. For example, stoves would not be considered building products. The intention is to capture products that are used, or could be reasonably used, in the construction of the building and are regulated to ensure that they comply with the requirements of the building assessment provisions, including plumbing assessments and Notifiable Works.

If you are concerned about a non-conforming building product you can make a complaint about it to the QBCC.

Possible outcomes

When the QBCC is made aware of a potential NCBP, the QBCC will undertake a preliminary assessment to consider the safety risk of the potential NCBP, and then provided a response based on the level of risk.

For example, a single product in a 50-year-old house would potentially pose less risk than a significant amount of product on a large public building, such as a hospital. However, every complaint will be assessed and the safety of all Queenslanders remains the utmost importance.

The QBCC can also convene a meeting of the Building Product Advisory Committee (formerly the Queensland Building and Construction Product Committee) to assist in responding to the complaint and information received. Representatives from government agencies will work with the QBCC and their respective departments to assess the best way of responding. This may involve notifying the relevant Ministers of the potential NCBP.

The new laws have also increased the QBCC’s investigative powers, which now include the provisions to enter into existing buildings to gather evidence of NCBP (previously the QBCC could only enter active building sites).

The QBCC can assess whether it is necessary to respond with further action, which may include requiring remedial action, taking disciplinary action or prosecution.

Alternatively, for high-risk public safety issues, the QBCC, with the Committee, may advise the Minister for Housing and Public Works of the situation and the Minister now has the power to issue a warning statement or recall notice.

Anonymous complaints

Complaints can be submitted anonymously. It’s important to note however, that the QBCC will have greater investigate capacity when more information about a product is received.