Creating confidence
in the building industry


The Master Builders Fidelity Fund is a not-for-profit trust that was set up as part of the Residential Building Cover package introduced by the Northern Territory Government at the beginning of 2013 under the Building Amendment (Residential Building Consumer Protection) Act 2012.

It is based on the successful Master Builders ACT scheme, which has been operating for 12 years.

The Fund issues Fidelity Certificates, which provide consumer protection for owners of new homes and extensions to existing homes. The Certificates cover owners against financial loss because of incomplete or defective work if the builder disappears, dies, becomes insolvent, or becomes deregistered.

Residential builders now have to apply for cover with the fund and have to demonstrate they have the financial capability and experience for the level of cover sought.

Builders then have to obtain a certificate of cover for every new house, unit block three storeys or under and extensions.  This cost is passed to the consumer, who is issued with a copy of the Fidelity Fund Certificate.

The Certificate allows the home owner to make a claim should their builder become bankrupt, die, disappear or have their registration cancelled by the Builder Practitioners’ Board

Should the builder not have died, gone bankrupt or disappeared, Consumer Affairs can mediate on rectification of the work.

The scheme covers only private residential work, not commercial or transportable buildings or government contracts.

Owner builders also have to obtain a Fidelity Fund Certificate to ensure that if they sell their house, the next owner is covered for defects.

The Fidelity Fund replaces the Home Builders Certification Fund which covered only structural failures and provided no protection against builders’ failure to complete homes.

See also detailed information for builders on the Northern Territory Government’s Building Advisory Services site at


The Master Builders Fidelity Fund is a not for profit trust, administered by trustees who have a range of professional experience and commitment to the construction industry.

Dick Guit

Chairman Dick Guit has worked in the construction industry for more than 40 years.  He joined Sitzler Pty Ltd in 2012 after a 16-year career as Laing O’Rourke’s Northern Territory Manager.

He has worked on a range of residential, defence, commercial, industrial, defence and retail projects in the Northern Territory.  On behalf of the Australian Government, he has acted as Superintendent and Construction Manager on a number of important Defence projects.

Recent projects include the Darwin Convention and Exhibition Centre, Mitchell Centre, Hastings Over Mindil, Royal Darwin Hospital, TIO Building and the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Project.

Dick is Chairman of the Building Practitioners’ Board, a Board Member of NT Build, President of the Master Builders Association of the NT, a Member of the WorkSafe NT Workers Compensation Rehabilitation Advisory Council, a Technical Panel Member of the Contractor Accreditation Ltd and Director of the Industry Capability Network NT.

John Brears

John has 40 years’ experience in the international and Australian construction industry. In Darwin over the past 26 years, he has worked as Director of Construction and Building Development for Sumarto Pty Ltd (Mirage Developments), as Regional Manager of Spotless, Area Manager of Multiplex Constructions, as Project Manager for the new Parliament House and Supreme Court buildings and as Area Manager for John Holland Constructions.

John has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Aston in Birmingham, UK.

He is Chairman of the Building Appeals Board, Chairman of the NT Government’s Building Industry Reference Group, a Licensing Commissioner, Mediator for the Lands and Mining Tribunal and NT WorkSafe, Adjudicator for payment disputes and a Justice of the Peace.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia, a Registered Building Contractor, an Executive Member of the Master Builders Association (NT) and national accredited mediator.  He is a former President of the Darwin Rotary Club.

Karl Tester

Karl is General Manager and Director of the North Australian Insurance Brokers and has 25 years’ experience of the insurance industry, being widely acknowledged in the Northern Territory as an expert is his field.  He started the company in 2010 after working as State Executive of a global insurance broking company in the Territory.

North Australian Insurance Brokers acts as a corporate representative of the Master Builders Association owned MBA Insurance Services.

Karl is a Fellow and Certified Insurance Professional, Australian New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance, has a Diploma of Insurance Services and is a NIBA Qualified Practising Insurance Broker and Fellow.

In 1998, he won the prestigious National Warren Tickle Trophy Award for outstanding performance.  In 1995, he was awarded the Australian Insurance Institute Northern Territory Ansett Australia Insurance Industry Award for Excellence.

Devendra Patel

Devendra began his accountancy career in London.  He migrated to Australia and joined KPMG in 1977, became an audit partner in 1985 and retired in July 2008.  As a partner of KPMG he was appointed as Authorised Auditor by the Auditor General of the NT to conduct audits of Northern Territory Government agencies.

Devendra has a Bachelor of Commerce, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, a registered company auditor and a registered tax agent.

He joined the NT Division Council of the Australian Red Cross in 1992 and is currently Chairman and a member of the Australian Red Cross National Board.  He was appointed to the Audit and Risk Management Committee in 2008 and the Migration Programs Advisory Committee in 2012.

He is also a member of the Audit Committee of the Tiwi Land Council, was Honorary Treasurer of the Government House Foundation from 2001 until 2008, is a Past President and Treasurer of the Indian Cultural Society and an Honorary Auditor of the Hindu Society of the NT.

Leon Loganathan

Leon is a Managing Partner with Darwin legal firm Ward Keller. He joined Ward Keller in 2003 after six years in Sydney and Brisbane in the Taxation Division of global accounting firm Ernst & Young.  His areas of practice at Ward Keller are stamp duty, payroll tax, property law and conveyancing.

He has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Western Australia, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland, a Master of Laws from Deakin University and a Certificate in Financial Markets from the Securities Institute of Australia.

Leon was admitted as a Legal Practitioner in the Northern Territory in 1994 and New South Wales in 1998 and as a Chartered Tax Advisor with the Taxation Institute of Australia.  He is Secretary of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) in the NT and was Vice President of the Palmerston Regional Business Association from 2005 to 2010.

He has lectured in Business Law at Charles Darwin University, is an author of the Lexis Nexis Australian Stamp Duties Law Reporter and is considered a leader in the field of State Taxation and Residential Property Law in the Northern Territory.

Charles Wright

Charles is a practising quantity surveyor with 40 years’ experience in Asia, the Middle East and Australia.

He has lived in Darwin since 1977 and has a good understanding of both urban and remote conditions in the Territory.  He founded QS Services 23 years ago, with clients from all sectors of the construction industry from sub-contractors to international developers, architects and the Northern Territory and Australian Governments.

Charles is an Associate Member of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, International Cost Engineering Council Accredited, an Associate Member of the Australian Institute of Building, an Adjudicator under Section 52 of the Construction Contracts (Security of Payments) Act.

He is Chairman of the Industry Capability Network (ICN), Chairman of the NT Division of the SA Chapter of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, a Councillor and Executive Member of the Master Builders Association of the NT, a Public Officer of the Australian Industry and Defence Network, a Member of the Chamber of Commerce NT International Business Council and a Member of the Real Estate Institute NT.

He is also involved in family businesses, including a newsagency and property investments.

FAQsFrequently asked questions by owners and builders