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

graphicbuild, by sgrove

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

Improving the regulatory framework

Consistent with our commitment, Building and Energy has released four Consultation Regulatory Impact Statements seeking public feedback on reforms to the building regulatory framework.

This has provided an opportunity for industry and consumers to have their say in shaping the future of building regulation in WA.

Public comment has now closed on the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statements.

Public comment was also invited on a consultation draft of the Amendment Regulations to register building engineers in WA under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011. This stakeholder feedback informed the final Amendment Regulations, which are scheduled to be gazetted later in 2023.

Download the engineers registration Amendment Regulations and Explanatory Statement

Download the engineers registration Decision Regulatory Impact Statement

Download the Deloitte Access Economics report – Registration of Building Engineers in Western Australia: Economic analysis

Building and Energy is also working on final recommendations to the WA Government on broader reforms to the design, approval and certification of residential and commercial buildings in WA and the regulation of builders. These will be presented as a package of reforms for the Government’s consideration.

Building and Energy worked closely with the ABCB’s Building Confidence Implementation Team as it developed national best-practice guidelines for implementing the Building Confidence Report recommendations. These were published in December 2021.

Where appropriate and practicable, the recommendations made to the WA Government will seek align closely with the national best-practice guidelines.

ABCB national best-practice guidelines

Building Surveyors' Code of Conduct

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

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.

Where to from here

Once our final policy recommendations have been made and considered by the WA Government, Building and Energy will work to ensure a smooth implementation.

Modernising and improving the building regulatory framework will take time, and it’s important to get these reforms right. Building and Energy will work with the WA Government to develop and progress the required legislative amendments and consult with consumers and industry to ensure proper understanding.

At a later date, Building and Energy will seek public and industry feedback on other important reforms to modernise the building regulatory framework. These reforms will focus on enhancing registration for those professionals who design residential and commercial buildings, fire-safety practitioners and building surveyors.


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