Will Regulating Scrap Metal Reduce Construction Site Theft?

Construction site theft is a growing epidemic, costing Aussie builders around $30 million every year. With most stolen building materials being sold for scrap metal, the Master Builders Association of WA has called for closer regulation of the scrap metal industry. Experts hope new regulations might be the key to curbing construction site theft across Australia.

What Regulations Are Being Proposed?

The Master Builders Association of WA is calling for scrap metal dealers to establish regulations similar to those in the second-hand trade. In Western Australia, as with most Australian sites, second-hand dealers cannot trade without a valid license. They must also keep records of their business activity, which can be examined by the police at any time, and only employ people with clean criminal records. The proposed requirement would create a paper trail for the activity of scrap metal dealers.

What’s Being Done?

Master Builders’ director Geoff Cooper has reached out to Western Australian Police Minister Liza Harvey with the group’s proposal. The Western Australian government has also raised the group’s concern with state police. Hopefully, these preliminary talks will inspire regulatory change.

What Are the Implications for the Australian Building Industry?

If Western Australia clamps down on the scrap metal industry and construction thefts fall, other states will surely follow WA’s lead. Construction site thefts inflate building costs, which means that commercial entities and homeowners ultimately pay more for their properties. Thefts also delay project completion times, which impacts clients and builders. If new regulations reduce construction site thefts as predicted, residential and commercial projects will take less time and money to complete. This will have a significant positive impact on building firms and their clients. TPM Builders prides itself on keeping abreast of all legislation that affects the commercial construction industry. Contact us at 1300 733 891 to learn more about our services. ©Image via Flickr by stebulus