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THE END OF STONE AS WE KNOW IT!

Attention all customers.


The following was written by the HIA.

Australia's Leading Domestic Construction Association.


On Wednesday, HIA advised members that all state and territory Work, Health and Safety Ministers voted in support of a ban on the use of engineered stone and on some of the details associated with the ban.

 

A key aspect of this matter relates to the timeline of the ban and how transitional arrangements are intended to apply. Disappointingly, there has been conflicting information from Governments on the timing of this and its application which is obviously causing members concern. 

 

Outlined below is HIA’s current understanding of how the ban will affect the use, supply and manufacture of engineered stone in current and future new homes and renovation and addition projects.

 

Projects where installation expected before 1 July 2024

 

These projects may continue unaffected by the ban.

 

Until the ban comes into effect, workers and businesses can continue to work with engineered stone in a controlled way and in accordance with current work, health and safety requirements.

 

Contracts signed before 13 December 2023 with installation expected after 1 July 2024

 

HIA understands that for contracts signed before 13 December transitional arrangements may apply to allow for the use and installation of engineered stone after 1 July 2024.

 

This is however far from certain. We have very little detail on how these transitional arrangements would operate and it is possible jurisdictions could take a different approach. HIA is seeking clarity on this as a matter of urgency.

 

Members with contracts on foot may wish to talk to their clients about alternative products.

 

Contracts signed after 13 December 2023

 

HIA is advising members that:

 

  • If the project, including the use and installation of engineered stone, will occur before 1 July 2024 you can continue to specify the use of engineered stone.

  • If the project, including the use and installation of engineered stone, will occur after 1 July 2024 it is recommended to not specify the use of engineered stone as the ban will likely be in place and after this date it will be illegal to use and install.

 

Other considerations

 

  • Members should be mindful of making any representations to clients about the use of engineered stone in their project, particularly given that it will be illegal to use the product after 1 July 2024.

  • HIA contracts deal with the need to substitute products and materials including clauses dealing with variations, ‘other costs’ that may arise as a consequence of changes in the law and prime cost and provisional sum items. Members should review their contracts and become familiar with these clauses.

  • For those builders or cabinet makers and kitchen companies with showrooms or displays, members should provide information to clients about the ban and potential timing on projects and selections. HIA has provided a consumer guideline to assist with this conversation.

  • HIA continues to receive information on the expanding range of alternate benchtop products coming to market that can provide different options for builders and homeowners.

 

Ministers in their decision highlighted that a process will be developed for exemptions on new products with evidence to support its safe use, this should also enable more choice of products going forward but timing on availability of this is yet to be defined.  

       

HIA advocacy for a more balanced transition period

 

HIA is continuing to work with the Federal, State and Territory governments to seek some much-needed clarity on these matters and next steps.

 

HIA will also continue to advocate to Governments on the need for a more substantial transition period and for this to be coupled with a comprehensive plan and industry support package for effected businesses.

 

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