Victorians now have a free service to help them resolve their building disputes quickly and without stress.
Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) is an independent agency that will act as a mediator to deal with contested building projects on behalf of both builders and homeowners.
Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz today declared DBDRV open for business.
Replacing Building and Advice Conciliation Victoria, the DBDRV will operate under a new legislative scheme, with expanded powers and a broader scope, including the authority to issue binding orders.
That includes orders to compel builders to fix or finish work, or force owners to pay their bills.
Former Director of the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria Gina Ralston will act as Chief Dispute Resolution Officer and will lead the new service.
It covers all disputes arising from domestic building works less than 10 years old and those not already – or have ever been – in VCAT proceedings.
Under the new service, accredited and trained officers will be paired with independent building experts to help parties reach an agreed resolution.
VCAT and Consumer Affairs Victoria deal with an average 3,000 disputes a year relating to domestic buildings works. As a mandatory dispute resolution service, DBDRV is likely to significantly decrease the number of claims that make it to other agencies.
For more information or to make an application, please visit
Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz
“This is an immediate confidence boost for Victoria’s $28 billion building industry.”
“We see too many instances of disputes between builders and owners dragging out over months and years, causing stress and costing significant amounts of both time and money.”
“The DBDRV will provide a fair, efficient and cost-effective service to resolve disputes, so people can get on with building the great Australian dream.”
Quotes attributable to Chief Dispute Resolution Officer Gina Ralston
“The significance of having a fair and equitable dispute resolution service cannot be underestimated.”
“For many home owners building a house is the biggest project they have undertaken and for builders these projects are their livelihood.”
“The DBDRV will draw on an expert team of trained and accredited conciliators and qualified building assessors from the industry, to resolve disputes and to deliver outcomes that protect both the builder and building owner.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020