Launceston building surveyors say a "perfect storm" of long-warned conditions has led to the insurance price panic gripping both the national and Tasmanian construction industries.
After operating for 19 years in the Launceston region, Protek this week announced it would cease certifying due to triple-digit jumps in indemnity insurance premiums and excesses.
The impacts of this closure are set to ripple out as builders search for the new surveyors required for any work to occur on their sites - many of which also face uncertain futures when their insurance comes up for renewal.
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Tasmanian Building and Construction Minister Elise Archer has stressed the compliance matters causing the insurance problems were "beyond Tasmania's control", though Alan Jones of Trident Building Surveyors and Metrics Group director Gabriel Barnes say there has been a lackluster auditing of their sector's work.
Mr Barnes noted he was one of six audited about 10 years ago after self-identifying, but had never been "tapped on the shoulder".
Tasmania was also the only state without builders warranty insurance, something he said the 2016 Building Act sought to address though failed to provide enough power for consumers and left surveyors open to legal action for which they pay an insurance excess regardless of the outcome.
A Justice Department spokesperson said enforcement activities had "stepped up" after a recent transition period into the 2016 Act.
They added there were mechanisms that allowed surveyors to direct defects identified within 12 months of completion to be fixed.
Councils offering surveying services, like the City of Launceston, were also undercutting private sector surveyors by failing to properly attribute costs, Mr Barnes said.
The council's general manager Michael Stretton said it competed on a "cost-neutral" basis on par with the private surveying sector and shared their concern about the viability of the "vital service".
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