Building reforms drive renewed confidence

The next tranche of reforms to the building and construction industry will soon be introduced to the NSW Parliament, following the release of an exposure draft of the Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019.

Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said the draft, which opened for public consultation today, will outline key accountabilities of design and building practitioners for the first time, and aims to bring greater peace of mind to property purchasers.

“The draft Bill lays the foundations for major reforms within the building sector. The Bill will deliver stronger accountability in the building industry and help deliver confidence back in the industry,” Mr Anderson said.

“The fundamental objective of these reforms is to improve the transparency, accountability and quality of work within the sector by ensuring homes are designed and built in accordance with the Building Code of Australia.”

The proposed reforms include:

  • The introduction of prescribed categories of ‘regulated designs’, which include designs, specifications and plans for building work and performance solutions.
  • A requirement for design practitioners who prepare regulated designs to issue a compliance declaration stating compliance with the Building Code of Australia.
  • A requirement that major variations to designs must be declared as complying before being provided to the builder.
  • A requirement for building practitioners to obtain, rely upon and build in accordance with declared designs, and to issue a compliance declaration stating that the final building, including any variations, complies with the Building Code of Australia.
  • A requirement for any practitioner who makes a compliance declaration to be registered under a new scheme set out under the draft Bill.
  • Clarification of the common law to ensure that a duty of care is owed for construction work to certain categories of ‘owner’.

“The reforms will lift the standards of buildings that are constructed in NSW by ensuring the professionals involved in the design and construction of buildings are accountable for their decisions,” Mr Anderson said.

Consultation will be open until Wednesday 16 October and feedback from stakeholders will be reflected in the final Bill, where appropriate.

Comment is also currently being sought, until October 28, on the draft Building and Development Certifiers Regulation 2019, which aims to strengthen the certification system in NSW.

To view the draft Bill or the draft Regulation visit the NSW Fair Trading Consultation page.

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