Dr Owen Donald

Independent facilitator for the NSW Government’s Millers Point project and non-executive director of Housing Choices Australia Dr Owen Donald has been appointed as the new chief commissioner for the Victorian Building Authority.

Dr Donald holds a PhD in urban research and is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Public Administration.

His previous roles have included chairman of the National Housing Supply Council from May 2008 until it was disbanded in 2012, serving on the Commonwealth’s Urban Policy Forum and the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Social Housing and Homelessness, and chairing the Project Steering Committee for the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre.

Victorian planning Minister Richard Wynne said the VBA’s interim chief commissioner, Brian Welch, would remain until February 2017 when Dr Donald formally takes up the reins.

Mr Wynne thanked Mr Welsh and previous chief commissioner Bill Kusznirczuk for their work with the regulator.

Mr Wynne said the government would soon be introducing a new round of building legislation reforms as the first step in “building a more robust and transparent building system”.

“Building regulation is a specialised and challenging field. Dr Donald’s policy and governance experience puts him in the perfect position to head up the VBA as we strengthen its powers and work towards a stronger system which builders and consumers can trust,” Mr Wynne said.