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hello everybody and welcome to another lean in session as always i'm michael linke and on behalf of the australian institute of architects it's fantastic to have you join me again so welcome today we're going to look at the issues surrounding the abic contract and access to capital over recent years we've received an ever increasing number of complaints from members that the banking industry refuses to approve clients construction loans and this occurs primarily in the housing sector and where architect administrators architect administered construction contracts are used specifically we've seen examples where banks refuse to lend to consumers where contracts specify an architect as a contract administrator where contracts contain provisions for monthly progress payments where progress is assessed by the architect rather than a bank appointed quantity surveyor and where contracts have contained provisions for variations as well so to counteract this issue back in 2018 we conducted a member survey which used your feedback and we presented those findings to the royal commission into banking we presented it to state to territory into federal government uh small business ministers to the acc and also to the aba the australian banking association however the issues still continue to arise it's a real pity so we're keen to mobilize further and what we're keen to do is take a campaign directly to the banks now if you've been affected by this issue or you know others who have we'd really love to hear from you so today for the next hour is your opportunity to share your stories and we'll be doing some live calling as well for you to give us your feedback too this is your chance to contribute to a critical issue and above all help us to deliver a solution i'm really pleased to be joined today by the team that have been working on this issue we have with us today amy goodwin the co-principal at project 12 architecture we have the institute's past national president claire cousins and answering your questions that arise today as well my colleague the institute's general manager of advocacy and policy leanne hardwick so in this session we'll be undertaking live polling just to assess the impact that this is having on you and this will help us identify the next steps that we need to take to resolve this matter now we're also very keen to hear how you and your clients have been affected by this issue so don't forget that the chat box down below that you see is open and it's your friend so if you have any comments if you have any questions at all feel free to pop them into the chat box there and i'll go through these with amy and with claire and with leanne at the end of the session as well so what i thought i'd do first is start with a recap and for this i'll go to claire cousins our past national president at the institute of architects claire great to have you on board and welcome to the program can you provide us with a recap of the work that the panel have done say over the past 24 months on this issue yep thanks michael um hello everyone yes it's look this is a a really big issue affecting um many smaller medium practices and um i suppose uh you know my practice is um heavily affected by it as well and i think we really need to try and find um some good working solutions um the the historically what we did in 2010 and 18 was um put a submission in it was quite a big undertaking to the banking royal commission uh and and for that to collect that data um we surveyed um members and it was a bit of a joint collaboration with rcu team and the aca to try and get as much um data as possible um and leanne and her team kind of pulled it together which which was a great piece of work um i suppose one of the challenges is the banking commission um royal commission probably had so many other um challenges it probably didn't you know sit high on the on the on the list of challenges that the banks were kind of wanting to remedy um leanne and i met with anna bly the ceo of the um australian banking association in sydney back in 2018 really to try and convey um our concerns uh with her and and really try and uh also get across how the the restrictions that often that the lenders are putting on the contracts and architects and clients is completely counter-intuitive um you know the key key issues that that we're aware of that the members are having regularly are that banks uh don't see the contract the lump sum contract as a fixed price contract they see they kind of interpret it as a cost plus um there's often a push back on on monthly progress payments which as we all know as architects is a much more secure way of assessing claims uh they're kind of pushing uh clients and lending into stage fixed stage payments which we all know is kind of not workable for um architectural projects for the the kind of um cash flow for builders um there's sometimes and commonly outright refusal for the abic and banks are forcing and compelling people to use at hia contract variations we're finding um banks are requiring clients to fund variations like they kind of think that variations shouldn't occur which we all know is unrealistic um retention and security the complexities of that so some of our clients have kind of managed that on the side and then also the introduction of the deposit but i suppose that's a kind of a lesser issue with what we're talking about today one of the challenges i suppose with um the abit contract too is that it's a a co we've got to remember it's a co-authored piece it's a joint venture with the master builders association and the australian institute of architects which does make um i suppose making changes in the contract slightly more complex than if we then rather than if it was a kind of an autonomous contract um i think we had a good reception with anna blair when we met um we had bigger fish to fry and we really tried to get across the fact that having an architect administer a contract actually mitigates risk um reduces risk for the client um often many builders much prefer having a client intermediary between the client and the build or those two parties and also if it mitigates the risk of the client then ultimately that's mitigating risk for the lender and the and the bank um so i suppose um over the last 12 months there's been less um active work we've kind of working on this in the last couple of months but obviously the year has kind of got away from us with other pressures and with covert related issues all trying to keep our practices afloat um but um you know amy um and i've been kind of talking with with national policy and julia um cambage the institute ceo about how we can really we really need to find some um immediate kind of solutions or work arounds and then also what is our long term strategy and we felt that if we could gather and garner more data in a different kind of framework which will poll everyone today and we felt everyone's we got survey fatigue but this is often quite a good way to gather data quite easily and quickly and also um to get more anecdotal information from members directly that we can then try and use that to leverage so that leanne will go into that a little bit further down the track so i don't want to step on anyone's toes perfect thank you claire let's move to you amy goodwin amy welcome to the program great to have you with us let's go through what what are some of the typical issues that you've seen members face in this predicament yeah thanks michael and thanks everyone for joining um look it's really building on and you know further to what claire has just outlined those issues are still very much ongoing um as co-chair of small practice forum in victoria i know this is an issue that is impacting a lot of small practice members and i know medium practices also um but really i think you know sometimes it's just that you can't actually get mortgage or financial approv approval on the a bit contract at all so where we're first being forced to administer a contract on a master builders or a hia contract that doesn't have a specific role for the architect written into it and sometimes that agreement is no more than a handshake between all the parties involved or a letter that just says yes this is the architect we'll be administering the contract on your behalf for a contract that isn't really designed for that to happen banks enforcing quantity surveyors to assess payments at the various stages so at a significant cost to the client is another one and then often the quantity surveyors are just using asking the architects what their assessment is anyway and so then the architect is still doing the work it would it's no different to if the architect was assessing that progress claim the quantities values are just using that information and relaying that to the bank um as claire mentioned before banks enforcing the stage-based payment claims i mean we've got around that by introducing additional stages into you know and above the kind of the standard base frame lock-up stage but then that is even subject to the banks approving that um and the mortgage brokers kind of running through that and then it's just even then that process is explaining it to the client and what those additional stages mean and as claire says on big large residential projects there's a huge cash flow issue for potentially for the contractor so that just you know needs to be considered and ultimately i think it's the stress the time and the cost to the clients and the architects that the time to sit there on the phone and try and explain abec to a mortgage lender the banks to explain to them it's not a cost plus contract um and then ultimately the loss of income and potential and and the administrating like the ability to even administer a job as an architect with sometimes the clients just deciding that fine we're not going to use your services past this point if we can't use this contract and so i think that that is you know a kind of huge stress for members potentially and i think hopefully we can find a way to kind of work around it so we don't you know we can find a solution that works and for for all our members thank you amy i would say as well there's some really good comments coming through on the chat and there's been a really interesting question posed to the everybody not only the panel but also to the 150 plus people that we've got on the channel so do have a good read through the questions if anybody has got any responses for anna this is anna dutton she's put in a question about um a demand that the bank has placed on her to provide a written statement uh which is effectively putting risk and shifting that risk on to the architect if any of you have any of those stories horror or good please do feel free to pop those into the chat and of course leanne hardwick our gm here of policy and advocacy will no doubt um if we need further information or evidence from you she'll be in touch of course let's move now if we can to a poll what we would really like to do is it'll be a little bit interactive this is the final lean in for 2020 and probably the first time i've run a live poll really in this in this way shape and form so what i'm going to do is i'm going to launch a poll and hopefully you should be able to see that coming up i'm just wondering if you can give me a thumbs up on that one amy can you see that in front of you on your screen perfect what we'd love you to do there are a number of questions on here not many okay there's really only um seven questions we'd really like you to start voting on those so you can see the first question coming up is over the last couple of years how many single residential um that's either new resi or any alterations and ad projects has your architectural practice completed so anything up to five five to ten ten to twenty and so on so if we can get you to vote on those that would be fantastic the second question relates to um on average how long does your single residential again you or alts and ads projects take to complete um and i can see votes going in there now which is great the third question is in relation to the typical construction contract value of your single resi projects again um just pop in your details there this is the kind of evidence that will really help us it should only take about 60 seconds max to get through michael yes question technical question how do we actually make the i don't know what there's nothing to you just clicking it yes um you should just be able to um click on it if you're on just a normal pc i can see um nine people maybe as co-hosts we can't because i can't maybe i can't do it okay that's maybe what it is okay we're not allowed to put our data in that's fine i'm so sorry three months at the end i'll add him later clara i really apologize it was critical that we get a check that i i couldn't work it out i was a bit thick so anyway um and i see that um anna on question six says she can't select multiples i'm so sorry if you can't um it's it's a bit of a pity it's pick the most popular one anna i'm so sorry we are limited somewhat in our zoom technology and i probably should go back to zoom school for this but sadly just pick the best one that fits you even if you have multiple examples just pick the the main one that you struggle with if that's okay um we'll just see how this goes we've seen 37 there's 159 people that this could go out to and we've seen 40 or so we'll keep it going for a little while anyway um some good comments coming through on the chat brian says that many projects do take more than 12 months to complete and that's absolutely right and we should have in one of those questions in terms of resi questions for new adults and ads projects taken to construct there is predominantly 60 of you actually saying that there's 10 months or more the reason i just done that brian the reas hello um the reason we listed 10 plus rather than 12 because i totally agree almost all mine would be 12 plus but um the reason we said 10 was we've often found um when you're when you're able to sometimes when you've been mandated by the bank to use fixed stage payments they have a maximum of 10 because that's what i think the computer programs often allow um and we've done that on a project that did run for 10 months but in a way what we were trying to capture was there's many projects that are above 10 so that's why it does seem like a bit of an ambiguous number uh whereas 12 is more common but we thought that this that was kind of the strategy and being able to use this data to advocate back to the banks graeme has um asked a question this is probably for you leanne this is just in relation to the question number the seventh question when talking about using an abbey contract where um single resi projects hold retention on the builder um graham's asked about retention cladding can include bank guarantee is that correct liam uh i'll actually have to ask claire that when we say with this question that would either be cash retention or bank guarantee but either would be if you use either we would consider that retention and so as that would be a yes it's not just uh cash retention sorry we probably should have phrased the question slightly differently it's more security rather than retention because technically a bank guarantee is not retention it's just a form of security so um if we can acknowledge either in this question yeah we'll keep this going just for a little while longer with um we've seen which is fantastic just well over half of you have completed the survey so thank you very much we also have this survey live in surveymonkey and what i will do for everybody that's registered today i'll send out a thank you email just to recap with the recording of today's session as well so you can watch it again if you need to but what i will do is i'll send you the link to survey monkey because i'm very conscious that a couple of you can't submit i'm not sure why and i apologize to you for that what i will do is i'll send you a link to surveymonkey where we ask the exact same questions so this is just a bit of a snapshot it will give us a real healthy level of data that we can then take in our next steps to where we go from here for the banks as well so what i though i might do is um just quickly run through and we might be able to get commentary from yourself amy claire and of course yourself leanne just in relation to the stats that are coming through so we can see that um 65 of people on this call have completed up to five so in the smaller um sort of data set i suppose there and um so yes 70 now have completed up to five uh single residential projects in the last two years so generally more smaller practices responding there um the majority for single resi projects at the moment and well over uh 10 months it seems which is good 60 of respondents um there typical uh about 50 or so um with that sort of 500 000 to a million dollar property mark um and interestingly enough in terms of using a big contracts forty percent always fifty percent sometimes and only a fifth of you just less than twenty percent um have said that you never use them um and interesting that there's a number of others it'd be quite fascinating if anybody has got any questions as to why they don't use contracts and and um and you put other as a reason just to pop it into the chat for us because we will download the chat and of course if we have any questions afterwards we'd love to reach out to you for further data and intelligence on that as well what i might do is um it's closed that off i might actually leave it going if that's okay just for a little while longer just to get some more robust data what i might do is move to you leanne hardwick the institute's general manager of advocacy and policy welcome to the program great to see you again what um what tools what resources or what handouts can we use to arm ourselves in the battle with the banks okay so what we're planning to do is once we've refreshed our information today uh we'll be um having a look at um well we're going to be creating some materials for members to actually give to their clients about why it's a good thing to use the avid contract and we'll be looking at actually going and meeting with people at the banks in their head offices to have a chat and and try and explain why a big is such a good contract and what actually has more benefits than not using navy contracts so it's all about educating people um and it's all about um also asking them where they see the biggest risk is and why they think that object is a risk for them so that we can better understand what the problems are and i guess the other thing is you know in conjunction with mba working out how to promote amic as a better contract um let's go to some of the questions i've received some in advance which is great and so let's go through those what the first question that i've got which has come to me yesterday and this is an interesting question somewhat controversial are banks lazy uh our banks just generally being lazy in this approach and are they wanting just to save administration costs only by allowing the simple stupid method or are there other motives what's your response i'll take that from any of the panelists i actually think that the banks do prefer to use it like it's a systems approach to them so that you know for instance with the progress payments they don't want to change their rit systems to have more payments rather than just the standard bog standard six or whatever they allow so i think that that is a problem it's about the systems that they have in place and i think they see that um the abec contracts are such a small proportion of what they deal with so they don't see that it's worthwhile to actually change their systems so the idea for us now is to actually approach it um and more um selling the contract and selling the benefits of having an architect administer the contract so that we actually show them that they will be reducing their risk and it is worth them changing the system i think this is a simple yes or no question is this practice actually legal under the a triple c laws yes it is legal or illegal it's legal legal yeah okay it is okay i mean banks are able to set their own conditions for lending it's it's you know and if they don't want to use one particular contract there's not much that we can do under the law to actually get them to change their practices a question here from someone that may be somewhat defeated but is anything likely to change do architects and builders that work for them have enough influence or are we quote too small fry for the banks to worry about i mean well one of the things you know we've been discussing is that the big challenges as leanne said the banks there's not a lot of motivation for them to change and there does seem to be and i saw sarah laker kind of put some comments in there and uh you know where the that there's often and i have seen those emails from banks where banks will say you know how to how to um identify a cost plus contract it's basically one that an architect administers which is completely um quite quite discriminatory really because it's clearly not a cost plus contract i think the the strategy that we're talking about now is actually to have this data um to talk to banks about but rather than just lobbying and saying okay we need you to change it's actually having um maybe more strategic conversations to really understand what other pressure points what do they see as risks you know is it you know um for example is it that it doesn't have the word fixed price contract on the cover or um and really trying to understand what those um barriers are to to allowing this to happen um or to allow a big contracts to be used so that we can take that information back to you know the institute's contracts committee and the the master builders um to try and have that remedy so that there there isn't an understanding to um allow them to move forward because at the moment um you know i'm personally facing you know two scenarios either you um have to work with an hia contract and then the institute does have on acumen um a kind of a supplement or a special conditions that you can use with that contract to allow an architect to have an administration role or we're being permitted to use the abit contract however the banks are forcing a quantity surveyor onto the client which is sometimes costing upwards of twenty thousand dollars and they as amy said they really do very little sometimes we're finding that they're rebadging our progress certificate as theirs and then charging seven thousand dollars to do an assessment at the beginning once and about thirteen hundred fifty dollars per month to do the assessment which we've already done so there's a um and and when we when we did this initial um advocacy work a couple of years ago we we reached out to the master builders and julia cambage has been doing a lot of work with jill um with danita warren who's the national ceo of the mba but the challenge with the mba though is it's a federated model it's quite different to the institute so any revenue that's generated from the a-b contract goes to the national coffers all the states um which is probably why all the states are more motivated to sell their own local mba contracts because that generates state-based revenue which is obviously what the states and territories are looking for so there's you know i suppose a slight conflict which doesn't help us you know in our cause um sorry i'm talking in circles but yeah no i get what you mean thank you sorry michael just some of the other things that we've been talking about um leanne claire and i and preparing this is it's not just the risk that we want to need to understand from the bank's perspective but also try and convey to the banks that typically the avic contract and architecturally design project is an is a good client for the bank i mean you would think it's desirable um client in there often professionals uh earning you know a good salary own one or two you know the values higher than a kind of average volume um build so i think you know we can convey that to the banks also too in terms of from a consumer point of view it's a kind of they they should want this type of client that's right and then also the risk that oh sorry michael the risk that also um an hia contract bring brings is it is often um weighed slightly to the builder or you know probably less um less of a fair contract and similarly um fixed stage payments don't motivate or incentivize the builder to push a project along you know that's that's why um and often even when you go and put a great amount of detail into what a stage completing a stage constitutes it's still very ambiguous and and i you know i think um is far more risky from a consumer's perspective as to what has been completed versus um a more of a trade breakdown percentage um assessment each month interesting there's some lovely comments coming through on on the chat and wim has a really interesting one he says it's very clear that the rejection of the ap contract is purely due to uneducated people in the lending system he talks about it being a lack of knowledge recontracts by bank lenders and finance brokers and it says that he's recently had to educate some hot shot lender for the first principal around construction contracts should the master builders and the institute of architects go sort of harvey's in terms of an education program to make sure that those messages are out there again leanne is that something i mean a public awareness campaign is that on the agenda yes definitely on the agenda and i think us going directly to the banks with you know making the case we'll actually re-educate them about the level of risk that they will they'll um incur i see there's something from hamish about is there a feeling for is this broad bank policy or is it based on local regional office decisions when we did the survey in 2018 we actually found that it's in some banks it is broad bank policy but different branches have looked at it in different ways and it's not just the big four it's actually right across um right across the board so it really depends on the branch that you go into for some of the banks or you know sometimes they'll look at their bank lending policy and have it specifically stipulated that if an architect is administering the contract then it's not acceptable so and i mean whether it's appropriate to discuss at this in this forum but one of the other things we've talked about too is whether the willingness to listen and change with the big four whether whether they will change you know none of us can tell basically but whether sometimes the the method of um or the stick or the carrot i suppose is whether then um advocacy to tier two banks whether it be someone that seems to be far more open-minded like bank australia who's been doing some great work on environmental policy and um um you know low interest low mortgage and lending rates if you build a seven star house in rather than a six-star house whether there is an appetite to understand and there's more agility for them to be adaptable and and and then and then in a way that then we that's something that can be you know um advocated you know broadly that it's it's kind of when the consumer starts to move away from the big four that that might also be another reason that they start to listen and are willing to change so it's kind of something that we thought we would explore there's a number of questions that have come through um from people to say has anybody has anybody actually got a bank that they can recommend is there anybody out there that we haven't really had the amount of issues that we have perhaps with the big four knowing the big four generally are going to be sort of the most easy in terms of access to capital the smaller lenders generally have more sort of refined restrictions which may prohibit uh lending sometimes but um so if anybody does have any i mean you talked about bank australia there you claire you gave a great example but if anybody has got any recommendations as to which banks are easy to engage and understand the a b contract then we'd welcome those comments as well um a question as well with the aba because we've approached them before again leanne or claire this might be one for you to answer and this is a question from nigel on the chat and he says why not get the aba involved with the next version of a bit contracts could you inculcate them into the next iteration i don't think the aba is the right vehicle to be involved in writing writing contracts to find the next version because um they represent bankers and the banking association so it's actually the banks themselves that make these decisions it's not driven by aba policy so and i don't think they would see themselves as that that as the appropriate mechanism they're actually more like an industry body for banks interesting in the chat as well andrew said that commonwealth bank have um been the best abec lender for him which is great belinda um has said that cairns bank support the use of a b contracts as well so there are some success stories out there but equally there's a huge amount of challenges as well gary says of course in the chat that anz funded one of his projects they use staged payments which we're seeing a lot come through a lot of people are claiming that same thing that yes they accept a big but it's on the predicated on the basis of having a staged payment as well and he says that the builder added in extra stages which were accepted and then accepted us as the architect to sign off at each stage as well uh mahalathas said that regional australia bank have never had an issue as well so this is great if we can get a really good library of lenders that we can that you've experienced no or minimal issues with then we'd welcome those comments as well um let's let's talk about um let's talk about um a couple more questions if that's okay um and this is in i'm just sort of reading through the comments as they come through um and this is from ross and he says look the big problem here is you can't actually talk to a bank um at best institute representatives might be able to get into someone at sort of that middle level of management who quite often don't understand the issues and have no real authority to influence we find that obviously with you know big global organizations or major national organizations like nab or commonwealth bank it is difficult to get to the top of the food chain what sort of proposals do you think you can counteract that to influence change i think we need to find the right person at the right level within the bank that has been difficult in the past but it's i'm going to make it my mission to to make sure that we can actually find someone that can exert some influence and i think after the banking royal commission um and the report that came out and all of the banks now are supposed to have uh like a an ombudsman type person there who can actually sort out your problems and get you to the right person so that's that's who we're going to be targeting so along the sort of ethics lines in terms of you know quality for all and that sort of thing so you we just need to find those sort of people as well a question from tony uh on the chat he talks about our engagement with the a triple c um be it rod sims or whatever it might be at the a triple c but have we spoken to the a triple c on this matter and what is their position and what's their advice and guidance to us at the institute and as that master builders yeah i we did write to the a triple c we've also written to all of the consumer affairs type bodies in each of the states and territories and also to small business ministers um about this issue the a-triple-c doesn't see it as an issue for them um and it doesn't seem to fall under their sort of trade practices type legislation okay thank you liam um andrew's on a plane randomly so he can't hear everything that's being said but he sent through a number of questions on the chat which is interesting and he makes a statement the banks don't care about what architects and their clients want they are only concerned with risk and we haven't really talked about risk to a great degree but he says the banks are really only concerned with their risk profile due to architects signing on of seemingly indeterminate payments so it has a couple of questions and this is up for anybodyon the panel has there been any studies on the number of defaults or disputes or bankruptcy under the uh hia contracts versus the avid contract is that uh have you done any research on that side of things it's really hard data to get that michael and i i know um warwick mahali has been looking into a research program potentially through archite to try and get that but even then i don't know whether you can get information on defaulting or on a contract it's actually really hard to obtain leanne i don't know could could you even get gather that where would you even be able to obtain that information no i actually had um did a initial search to find out about bankruptcies um to see whether that would be something some data that we could use but it's really hard to gain that data and you don't really know whether it's an architect administered contract or whether it's an ordinary contract so it's just not possible i don't think to get enough data to to be able to use those kind of statistics i think two of the two of that sorry michael two of the things that could we could be leveraging or advocating though is just looking at some of the results in that most so 66 of projects hold security on a builder that were polled today and so that that's very different to hia there's no security held on those projects um and uh so and the other one was that um someone just lost my chat i thought what was it oh that i think andrew kind of rightly commented that um you know i suppose a key part of the advocacy is also reminding banks that we are trained in a big contracts and carry professional indemnity insurance and i'm always kind of you know reminding everyone in the office that if we over certify we're liable if we've over certified and if there was to be a problem on the project so that there is a um the architect um has to play a very uh independent role in that and and i think banks just they do see us as adding risk and adding cost rather than actually mitigating risk [Music] hopefully you should be able to see i'm now sharing the results of the poll thank you very much to everybody who's voted on that so thank you so much do have a good look through those results we'll share those as well afterwards let's get back to some of the questions as well again a question for the banks we obviously don't work with them and and for them but are the banks aware that architects carry mandatory professional indemnity insurance for their work i would imagine so probably not probably not okay there we go are there any stats on five staged payments on large projects stressing the builder and causing defaults and bankruptcy again putting financial pressure and the onus for um almost impossible for a builder to do a large project on the five base five stages i i don't know how they would manage their cash flow doing that but that's why often there's that review process of seeing what other stages can be implemented and agreed by the builder the client and ultimately the bank absolutely it's really that that lending method has been um kind of based on volume-built 12-week construction programs where the builder is actually getting a claim in virtually every two weeks so it's completely fine for their cash flow whereas um with five five or six stages on a typical 12-month renovation or new build there might be three months that pass before a builder can get a claim in so and your joinery package might be worth 200 grand alone let alone yeah you know um to get to yeah so it's a risk for builders sorry and i noticed tammy on the chat she talks about proposing to remove staged payments on her next contract and return to the traditional monthly progress payments using a lawyer who's prepared that special conditions variation form and her question again for anybody on the chat please do respond to tammy um has anybody else altered their contract just to remove staged payments and but still having struggled still continuing to have problems with lending authorities put your comments in the chat as well let's go back to the questions again this one's from lindley and and lindley would professional indemnity insurers have an idea about which contracts are common to liability problems on a project and could they be approached perhaps your comments that's a good idea i don't know whether we've done that leanne and spoken to planned cover about any data on that but even just to have i mean while perhaps they'd be seen not as an independent party because they're a fully owned subsidiary but just some feedback awesome given that they clearly understand the role and the responsibility and the um the role and responsibility of the architects that could be a good avenue to use as well given that they are the ones that cover many of us for our pi yeah i'm sure we can um approach them and see what data they've got and the other thing the institute is doing at the moment is actually looking trying to get data on um to do a research project around uh novation of contracts but that of course isn't in the avid contract that's related to bigger contracts but that data on defects might also be able to assist us as well interesting a question that's come through from belinda on the chat he says look given this issue affects builders it affects clients it affects obviously us as architects is the institute working with other industry organizations on this problem you know for example master builders and she makes a very good point that a combined voice always gains a great attraction we have obviously talked about master builders and their seeming willingness to maybe promote their own contracts what are your thoughts as a panel on that statement i think i think from a national perspective the nba was was um supportive of it man weren't they just as i said before it's just that danita warren manages national whereas we're more likely to get support um from the national um the national entity although i know i think when you met you met with the victorian president or ceo amy and they said oh no we're happy to support it so even though they've probably got a vested interest in generating revenue for their their mba local mba contracts um all the builders we work with they would not want to be generally engaged directly by the client because i think often for the builder it is far more risky going into a direct contractual relationship with a lay person who often hasn't got that ability to assess what's fair and reasonable that things are not manufactured in a factory there's kind of tolerances and all of those kind of things that an architect plays a very vital role in that um independence and assessment and what's you know what's a defect what's not a defect so i know a lot of the builders we like work with prefer to have an architect intermediary and perhaps obviously abec is you know co-authored with mba to national level perhaps it's then each chapter taking that conversation to the mba at a state level to have that discussion to see if there can be any uh you know discussion or traction that can be made when approaching the banks but ultimately it is that that kind of that um that misalignment of you know then the mba was sort of wanting to promote their own uh state-based contract because that's where they get a lot of revenue so there is that tension there i guess but and i noticed sam crawford who's had um a lot of you know issues with the avid contract in sydney said that they've met with the new south wales mba reps and they weren't interested at all in helping so i think it is a challenge uh interesting comment from tanya jones on the chat as well she says the project homebuilders are a massive market sector for the banks and indeed yes they are their voice is much louder than the architects and they'd surely be lobbying the banks for the use of the hia contractors they don't want architects involved again you're trying to minimize our involvement you know and it's really quite um depressing to see that what are your comments and do you agree with um with tania's comments on that yes we would agree that hia certainly has a vested interest in promoting um their contracts for and and project home builders would also use that i'd also say that i would i would think i could be safe in assuming that most volume build houses are not designed by an architect either so we're kind of completely irrelevant in that sector and not all potentially designed the majority yeah architecturally designed buildings unfortunately have always been a very small percentage of the overall construction industry and the kind of you know particularly in that residential market so i don't think that's changed it's just i guess convincing or advocating to the banks that on those projects the low-risk nature of abec and the desirability of the client i think hopefully might be our best way of convincing them you know past the hia and mba contracts michael might have dropped out um okay just um i'll just keep there was something that tom's written here dr vital cole patton at the university of melbourne has just released a study on construction defects and dispute residential buildings using vcap data that would be interesting that would be good yeah um um clearly auntie yep and then tony um trove in ict said could the aia mba prepare a generic contract with a range of expanded stage payments included to approach the banks with i mean the challenges so in victoria i think it's is it is it is it tasmania and new south wales i think that stat stage payments have become mandated as a they're not even allowed to do progress payments anymore which is why there's a real challenge that's not the case in victoria i'm not sure about other states so i can only imagine that causes even more angst i noticed that josh has just said that yeah it is tasmania it's law have stage payments and i think there's an argument um that was raised about new south wales that it was law to have stage payments as well although we had actually disputed that interpretation so yeah i know that sam crawford's on the line i know he knows a lot about that from a new south wales perspective um there's there's something on here that maybe um claire you might know more about it's about renovations often don't have a slab or major framing or lock-up stages yeah not covered in a simple stage contract and how is that assist why would we pay a bill to five percent before they even walk onto a site no i mean it's absolutely true it's you can picture that a volume built house very much falls within that kind of traditional slab on ground frame stage you know roof lock up um but it it doesn't you know it's very different often on a on a ultra olds and as i mean we even find even with um a new build um i suppose it's generally the kind of frequency of payments but um yeah i mean anyway i still think there's the mba from their members i know a lot of the builders that we work with who or would be mba members would you know would agree and i think that that it is stronger to kind of have that voice not just from the institute i think always the banks feel that we're being protectionist and yes while it does kind of um the these the consequences have sometimes led to architects losing work but first and foremost really it's a consumer protection um issue i think and i think it's a much stronger argument to be kind of leading with that angle that this is not about us being protectionist for our own sake it's actually getting a good outcome for our clients and and a fair you know playing field for both contractor and owner and laura i just had a message from michael our failure is he oh very good well maybe should we with 12 45 maybe we'll keep going should we maybe we'll go through the results liam what do you think i can kind of scroll down and see what they are um so um there was a yeah so over the last 24 months how many residential new or alternate projects as your practice completed so the resounding you know 64 was up to five and then following that was kind of five to ten which doesn't surprise me the reason we asked that was what we were hoping to then do is that with the data i mean this is more your area but given that we've had 101 votes then we should be able to kind of um say that we can kind of multiply these responses to say it's actually affected you know 500 we're talking about whatever the data will say 500 projects rather than just being one project per person so it helps us with our data results um on average how long does your single residential new alterations and additions project take to construct and 58 said 10 plus months shortly behind that six to 10 months so less and and the reason we included three months or less was very much to kind of articulate that none of our projects really can be built you can basically do a kitchen in three months but you generally can't build a house unlike the um the volume built market what is the typical construction contract value for single residential uh and the 44 we're sitting between half a million and a million with 26 between one and two million and again i think that's a really um vital bit of information versus say hundred thousand dollar new builds do you use a big contracts for single residential uh and forty four percent sometimes and forty percent said always so eighty four percent together um is that they've used fairly frequently and if you don't use abit contracts why is that there was a fairly even spread with banking lender issues builder refuses 14 or client has an alternative it would be interesting if people could put some notes in the chat there was 44 actually said either i think someone said that they put other because they wanted to choose multiple responses but it would just be good to care yeah yeah so it'd just be great to uh people could kind of um maybe list what what their others might have been to just to give us a bit of an indication that there was 44 44 odd people um if you've encountered any bank lender issues with av contracts what are they select as many options as applicable lender and forging enforcing stage payments rather than progress payments 40 41 interestingly 28 said i have not experienced issues with blenders when i can't read what the end of the sentence says so which is quite interesting that um 28 haven't had any issues when using an abit contract would most of your single residential projects hold security or retention on the builder and 66 said always 16 said sometimes and only two percent said never and 16 not applicable which should be again if people could kind of list why it wouldn't be applicable um but yeah that what's that 82 percent um either sometimes or always use retention and i think that's a really key advocacy point for us that's that's the questions so um where to from here leanne um i guess um there's a few more questions that have popped in the gary who's saying if they can't use abic then they step away from contract administration and let the builder and client work it out themselves how's that i would be interested to know how many phone calls you get gary once things get on site yeah the challenge is though too is some people we all know that contract administration is not a profit center it's generally a phase that costs we're lucky to break even if you know sometimes um but often um it's it's a critical phase a for the client but b for the often the um integrity of the project too so it's a difficult situation if people are being kind of you know excluded from the contract administration phase and as we all kind of get drilled into by the insurers that partial services you can become problematic with risk and liability i think you you can also pretend to say you would document slightly differently if you knew you weren't doing contract administration from the outset um because you know to to to just be more thorough to i mean it's thorough anyway but it's a different proposition if you're not there assessing overseeing things as they're being built gary's response to my queries not many queries when they know they have to pay us by the hour hopefully you're still happy with the design gary when you go back for a coffee again oh michael's back michael sorry totally fine so sorry we've just had a power failure in the street i think everybod's um on the air conditioner so i apologize so we stepped on your toes and we've run through all the results we've gone through the results so i'm sorry about that we didn't know whether you were coming back so probably that's probably your favorite bit michael is it yeah no no no please no i'm dreadful sorry this is the 74th lean in i've done and yeah sadly um the only time when i've had a blackout in the street so i apologies for that i yeah but anyway that's the last one for 2020 we are now done thank you all right great stuff maybe the um the belinda belinda sent this through actually the other day on email but just she talked about a project for clients who work in a remote aboriginal community so they wanted um belinda's team to administer their contract because they'll not be um you know here during the construction but their bank will not allow to abec so i think you might have asked belinda given if they're not allowing it there is on acumen you could look up the um the special conditions or additional clauses that have been drafted to complement an hia contract that does give an architect a role an official contractual administrative role i i haven't used that at the amendment but leanne pointed me to it on acumen yesterday and that they're on a state-by-state basis and there have been new builds as well as alton ads yeah i think the only state for some reason was south australia doesn't permit it for some reason i'm not sure of what the legislative that is but frank i think have we lost michael again you might be able to answer this is there any similar clause that can be do you think that could be written into the mba contract or has that ever been discussed with the mba not that i'm aware of okay maybe that the thought was it was kind of counterintuitive would end up going yeah slippery slope of them appearing altogether so and i think the aha seems to get used far more than even the nba as a kind of you know and it's my understanding the mba contracts are different in each state and territory because they're written differently for their different purposes um michael seems to be flicking in and out but i don't know whether we should kind of wrap up and how will the so this has been reported there you are okay good good okay over to you michael yeah so sorry yeah no that's totally fine so is there any other questions have that have come through um we're just going through obviously the chat claire is there anything else that you wanted to address before we close out i was just saying if anyone uh people had said some of the people had said the reason they had no issues with abic is because people have got their they're funding their own um project or they've got substantial equity therefore the bank considers them as less of a security risk so that's interesting yeah i tend to yeah um what we'll do um if that's okay is we'll take a record of the chat history today so what that will mean is that if we have any further questions we will reach out to you with your permission if that's okay if you want to continue to contribute to the research that we need to be able to approach and battle the banks on this issue we will be able to reach out to you so leanne or myself will be in touch with everybody on the chat who's contributed if we have any further requests or information i'm sure that you'll hear from us in coming days yeah but but um i suppose is it that where to from here leanne it's really to try and gather this i mean we were kind of having aries with as to whether we had at the end of the year but it's been nice to gather as much as we can given that everyone's busy but then we can kind of hit the ground running early next year with compiling this and then start you know knocking on doors i mean sometimes it's even that you know there isn't the kind of public person but i'm just thinking off the top of my head there's really um senior credit people at nab that i'm working on a big project and it's almost kind of going in and leveraging contacts in other sectors and saying right who can we you know coming in the back door and trying to find who we can talk to at the big four and and making a bit of a beeline and a strategy is to um as to that advocacy piece and then being able to report back to members in the chat yeah if any of the attendees have any high level contacts at the bank and if you wanted to to reach out um quietly in terms of on a private chat feel free just to email like private message me on the chat and then i can pass those on to claire and amy and leanne of course as well if that's okay um what we will do i think let's let's leave it there i know their questions are coming through uh sorry there's still comments coming through but thanks everybody for joining us today hopefully you found this beneficial we certainly have we'll take the research and we'll take your comments what we're going to do and like sarah says where to from here we'll work with leanne we'll work with amy and we'll work with claire to get a positioning statement together to do some education to make ourselves more aware and known to the banking sector as well so i do hopefully um think that this is a really great stage for us to take with much energy into 2021 for a renewed effort to really engage with the banking system so thank you very much for all your comments for your votes today as well it's been really fantastic and of course massive thank you to amy goodwin to claire cousins and to leanne hardwick for appearing on our panel today we really appreciate it so what we might do we might leave it there if that's okay but thanks everybody for joining have a safe and wonderful christmas and a lovely break over the festive season and we look forward to catching up with you on another lean in in 2021. thanks again for today and uh look forward to sharing with you next year the outcomes of today's meeting thanks very much stay safe see you soon bye-bye you
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