Governor General of Australia Formally Launches International Building Quality Centre (IBQC)
His Excellency General the Honourable David John Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor General of Australia, launches the IBQC.
Honorary Consul Kim Lovegrove MSE RML FAIB, inaugural Chairman of the IBQC, delivers his speech at the launch.
Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Canberra, Belinda Robinson, addresses the launch.
The Formal Launch of the International Building Quality Centre
The IBQC and its board members (see below) thank the Governor General of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable David John Hurley AC DSC (Retd), for making the launch of the IBQC a truly auspicious occasion at Canberra University on 4 February 2020. His Excellency provided a fantastic scene-setting address.
This page features a number of photos from the event along with the Chairman, Honorary Consul Kim Lovegrove MSE RML FAIB’s address which can be found below. Great thanks are also conveyed to the world-class academic institution that is the University of Canberra for hosting the event and the IBQC. The Acting Vice Chancellor likewise was loquacious in her extolling of the virtues of this internationally ground-breaking initiative.
From left to right: Ms Bronwyn Weir, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (retd), Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, Professor Charles Lemckert, Honorary Consul Kim Lovegrove MSE RML FAIB, Professor Robert Whittaker AM, Neil Savery, Michael De Lint, and Belinda Robinson.
The launch included an unveiling of a plaque including the details of the launch and the inaugural board members (right).
Left to right: Professor Robert Whittaker AM, His Excellency General the Honourable David John Hurley, Honorary Consul Kim Lovegrove MSE RML FAIB.
International Building Quality Centre Launch Speech
4th February 2020
By Honorary Consul Kim Lovegrove MSE RML FAIB
It is a great honour to speak at the launch of the IBQC. That which makes this occasion particularly auspicious is evidenced by His Excellency General the Honourable David John Hurley AC DSC (Retd), the Governor General of Australia, taking time out from his demanding schedule to launch this internationally ground-breaking initiative.
The Centre’s mission will be the identification of that which is internationally exemplary in terms of building regulatory ecology.
The World Bank states that strong and robust building laws and codes translate into superior built outcomes. Such outcomes enhance the wellbeing of the public and underpin the success and prosperity of the construction sector; a sector so important to the world economy. As noted by the World Bank “the construction industry represents 112 million jobs globally, and the industry is expected to account for $12 trillion of global GDP by 2020…”
Unfortunately, some of the building disasters that have occurred in recent years have assumed a serial dimension; be they fire calamities, seismic disasters, or compromised structure-related emergencies; there have been far too many dire outcomes within the building context. Why, just over a week ago a platform collapsed at a religious ceremony in Ethiopia killing ten Christian Orthodox worshippers. As I am the Ethiopian Honorary Consul to Victoria, my heart goes out to my brothers and sisters in Ethiopia and to those who have yet again become casualties of building scenarios.
A factor that has compromised the ability of reforming jurisdictions to generate best practice outcomes is the emergence of an introspective mentality, and a somewhat siloed approach to building regulatory design. This can be terribly dangerous, as it fails to take on board the lessons learnt in the international “laboratory of comparative analyses and benchmarking”; a laboratory that, when used astutely, can help policy architects devise inoculation regimes that blend the binaries of that which has been tested with that which has stood the test of time.
And that is precisely the remit of the Centre: to distil lessons derived from the global “building quality laboratory” and to make the findings of those lessons available to reforming jurisdictions, the tertiary sector and the mandarins that shape policy.
The Centre will identify regulatory ecologies that are best able to deliver optimum outcomes in terms of:-
- Efficient building permit delivery systems;
- Best practice probity, enforcement and accountability regimes;
- Engineered solutions – be they fire, mechanical or structural;
- Holistic and utilitarian regulatory matrices; and
- Best practice conflict resolution mechanisms – that remove some of the more archaic approaches to the resolution of building disputes (the cost of dispute resolution can negatively impact upon GDP by as much as 2 per cent – Nation States simply cannot afford such GDP productivity leakage)
The Centre will begin to ‘tar the long road’ by developing an online resource portal which will be populated with published findings that will showcase that which is most conducive to optimum building regulatory outcomes.
Students and law reformers will be able to leverage off these findings and will have ease of access to the location of best practice on point.
There will be postgraduate research opportunities for aspirants to specialise in best global practice which can, in turn, be fed back into the collective and emerging consciousness of progressive and enlightened approaches to optimum built quality outcomes.
In the fullness of time, when funding is forthcoming, the Centre can be deployed as a sounding board for reforming jurisdictions to ensure that reform ideas benchmark well with the most enlightened thinking in the international community.
This ambitious mission will in large part be forged by the collective wisdom and thinking of our inaugural board members; an international board comprising some of the most progressive building regulatory experts on the planet.
Michael De Lint: a preeminent Canadian law reformer who has flown here from Canada to attend this launch. Michael is a leading international construction law regulatory expert having been deployed by the World Bank to assist with developing international best practice regulatory development manifestos.
Bronwyn Weir: an outstanding Australian lawyer, co-author of the cathartic Shergold-Weir Building Confidence Report, one of the brightest and most astute law reform experts in the antipodes. Bronwyn just keeps on giving and Australia is lucky to have such an innovative thinker domiciled in this country.
Neil Savery: CEO of the Australian Building Codes Board who, in my view, is one of the most impressive civil servants that I have had the honour of engaging with, anywhere in the World. The antipodes is so very lucky to have a man like Neil heading up the ABCB in light of his unflappability and determination to do good.
Professor Charles Lemckert: Deputy Chair of the IBQC, a quintessential gentleman and a scholar, a visionary and a leading engineering expert who has been pivotal in the rapid evolution of this initiative.
Alejandro Espinosa Wang: of the remarkable World Bank. In my offshore deployments as a consultant working for the Bank, I have been honoured to work with this international expert on building permit systems. Alejandro has a phenomenal comparative knowledge of that which is conducive to best practice permit ecology.
Professor Robert Whittacker AM: one the greatest altruists in the Australian building industry. Robert is a very fine human being whose love and commitment to the betterment of the building industry knows no bounds.
Thank you, fellow Board members, for lending your time, your intellects and your enthusiasm to the inauguration of the International Building Quality Centre.
And thank you University of Canberra, Vice Chancellor and your venerable colleagues for hosting the IBQC, an international initiative that resonates with the standard of excellence that is characteristic of this world class academic institution.