Building industry reforms – Our work on national Building Confidence Report recommendations

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Improving the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the building and construction industry across Australia.

In mid-2017 in response to community and industry concerns about weaknesses in building regulation across Australia, Professor Peter Shergold AC and Ms Bronwyn Weir were commissioned by Australian Building Ministers to examine compliance and enforcement systems and identify ways to enhance the confidence of all those who own, work, live, or conduct their business in Australian buildings.

The Building Confidence Report, published in 2018, made 24 recommendations to Building Ministers to address systemic issues in the building industry and enhance regulatory frameworks to ensure compliance and enforcement of building standards. Building Ministers supported the report’s findings, and in March 2019 agreed to an Implementation Plan.

Download the Building Confidence Report

Since then, Building and Energy, along with other state and territory regulators and aided by the Australian Building Codes Board, has been working hard to review WA's building regulatory framework to address the report’s recommendations.

Ensuring we modernise our building regulatory framework to keep pace with contemporary approaches to building construction and design practices and address highlighted weaknesses, is a major focus for Building and Energy now and over the coming years.

What we have done so far

Reform to WA’s building regulatory framework is being undertaken in phases.

Our first priority phase has been the introduction of registration requirements for building engineers, a code of conduct for building surveyors and the building service audit program. This phase is now complete.

Our second phase has focused on broader reforms to the way buildings are designed, approved and constructed in WA to ensure the right regulatory settings and improve consumer confidence in the built environment.

Recommendations from this phase have now been accepted by Government and new laws are being prepared which will make substantial changes to WA’s building regulatory framework.

Phase 1

Registration of building engineers

From 1 July 2024, registration of building engineers will commence in WA.

Further details about the registration requirements can be found here: Building engineers registration

Code of Conduct for Building Surveyors

The Building Commissioner has issued a new Code of Conduct (the Code) for building surveyors in Western Australia.

The Code sets out minimum expectations of registered building surveyors undertaking building surveying work in Western Australia. It applies to all registered building surveyors undertaking statutory functions of assessing compliance and approving building designs and building work under the Building Act 2011 and associated legislation.

Download the Western Australian Building Surveyors' Code of Conduct

A supporting Code of Practice is also currently being developed, and will be released for public comment and consideration in early 2024.

Our building services audit program

Ensuring we modernise our building regulatory framework is only one part of the picture. The Building Confidence Report made clear that to improve compliance with building standards, regulators must have a strategy for proactively auditing the design, certification and construction of buildings.

In 2021, we developed and published our four-year Building Compliance Audit Strategy 2021–24 and our Audit Priorities Statement 2021–22.

Both documents clearly set out the approach we will take to our inspections of registered builders, building surveyors and owner-builders to monitor compliance and respond to emerging issues and risks in the residential and commercial building industry.


Phase 2

Building Better in WA

A broader review into WA building regulatory framework is now complete.

This review has found the need to make substantial changes to WA’s building regulatory framework to ensure high standards of residential and commercial construction, improve consumer confidence and implement key recommendations of the national Building Confidence Report.

The regulatory reform map summarises the reforms that will now be made to WA’s building regulatory framework.

Laws are now being prepared to implement the necessary reforms. Consultation drafts of the law will be released in due course before they are presented to the Parliament for consideration.

Download the Building Better in WA Regulatory Reform Building Better – Decision Regulatory Impact Statement – Volume

Download Building Better – Decision Regulatory Impact Statement – Volume

Where to from here

While the laws are being prepared to implement the recommendations from the review in Phase 2, Building and Energy will commence the third and final phase of regulatory reform, which is registration requirements for fire system installers and general building designers (non-engineers).

These reviews will commence in 2024. Further details will be released here shortly.  


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