Dr Owen Donald Appointed Building Authority Chief

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has appointed a new Chief Commissioner to the Victorian Building Authority, Dr Owen Donald.

With a doctorate in urban research, Dr Donald has held board and directorial positions across state and federal jurisdictions in housing, health, research and social services.

Dr Donald’s 30-year work history in developing and delivering policy across the housing and health sectors have contributed to his significant experience in governance, change management and leadership.

His previous chairmanships have included the Project Steering Committee for Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre, the National Housing Supply Council and Barwon Health.

Mr Donald is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Public Administration.

The VBA’s interim chief, Brian Welch, will remain in the position until Mr Owen takes up his post in February 2017.

Mr Wynne thanked Mr Welch and previous Chief Commissioner Bill Kusznirczuk for their work with the regulator.

Mr Kusznirczuk was the inaugural Chief Commissioner for the VBA after it was established in 2014.

The VBA is responsible for registering, licensing and disciplining Victoria’s builders and plumbing practitioners, working with consumers and industry to monitor and oversee the building permit system.

Under Mr Kusznirczuk’s stewardship, the VBA has worked to adopt recommendations from Auditor-General’s reports from 2011 and 2015 which had exposed flaws and much-needed changes to the former regime.

The Andrews Labor Government will soon introduce the second round of building legislation reforms to the Parliament, the next stage in building a more robust and transparent building system.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“Building regulation is a specialised and challenging field. Dr Donald’s policy and governance experience puts him in the perfect position to head up the VBA as we strengthen its powers and work towards a stronger system which builders and consumers can trust.”

“I thank the former and interim chairs, Bill Kusznirczuk and Brian Welch for all their work and enthusiasm in bolstering industry and consumer faith in the building system.”

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