Public consultations

Building and Energy produces and amends legislation, codes of practice, guidelines, proposals and general safety information. Where public comment is invited, draft copies of the documents are placed on this page.

Registration of building engineers in Western Australia

Building and Energy has released a consultation paper proposing changes to the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 to allow for the registration of building engineers and to introduce a code of conduct for engineers.

It will also require all types of registered practitioners to work within their area of competence.

The categories of engineer proposed to be registered include:

  • Civil
  • Structural
  • Hydraulic
  • Mechanical
  • Geotechnical
  • Fire safety

The closing date for submissions is Thursday 3 December 2020.

Download the consultation paper for details of the proposals and to have your say. For further information please email enquiries to engineers@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

Guidelines for the safety of buildings near network operator electrical assets

The risks and potential consequences of an electrical incident involving building encroachments too close to network operator assets is significant, especially for high voltage.

The danger justifies stringent safety design criteria for buildings to prevent injury to persons and major damage to electrical installations and buildings.

Building and Energy has developed a draft Guideline for the Safety of Buildings near network operator electrical assets, which you are invited to review and comment on. 

Please send any comments to be.publications@dmirs.wa.gov.au by 5pm on Friday 20 March 2020.

Proposed reforms to the approval process for commercial buildings - new closing date

*Please note that due to the current Covid-19 pandemic the date for responding to the CRIS has been extended to 30 June 2020

Building and Energy is inviting Western Australians to share their views on ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the commercial building approval process, including the process for approving apartment buildings.

The consultation period is from 11 December 2019 to 30 June 2020 and is a chance to give your input on the way commercial buildings gain approval. Everyone from property owners, the building industry, local government and other stakeholders with an interest in commercial construction are encouraged to submit their views.

Reforms to the approval process for commercial buildings in Western Australia – Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (the CRIS) seeks comment on one, some or all of the 28 proposals outlined in the CRIS.

The proposals aim to implement a number of recommendations from Building ConfidenceImproving the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the building and construction industry across Australia (the Building Confidence report).

You can complete the template at the link above or written submissions or letters can be emailed to commercial.buildings@dmirs.wa.gov.au or posted in hard copy to the following address:

Attn: Commercial Buildings Review Team
Policy and Legislation Branch
Building and Energy
Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
Locked Bag 100
EAST PERTH  WA  6892

At the conclusion of the public comment period, Building and Energy will analyse the feedback received from stakeholders. We will then prepare a Decision Regulatory Impact Statement, taking into account the feedback received during the consultation process.

Please direct any enquiries to Commercial.buildings@dmirs.wa.gov.au or phone 1300 489 099.

Proposed reforms to WA’s building approval process framework for single residential buildings

Have your say on home building approvals

Building and Energy is inviting Western Australians to share their views on ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of home building approval processes.

A public consultation launched on 11 September 2019 is seeking input from property owners, the building industry, local government and other stakeholders with an interest in home construction.

Reforms to the building approval process for single residential buildings in Western Australia – Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (the CRIS) seeks comment on three options for reforming the building approvals process for single residential buildings; being:

  • Retain the status quo, business as usual;
  • Implement full private certification of building approvals;
  • Implement improvements to the current system of building approvals.

Key among the reforms are proposals to implement recommendations from Building ConfidenceImproving the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the building and construction industry across Australia (the Building Confidence Report).

The closing date for receipt of comment on the CRIS is 9 December 2019.

Reforms to the building approval process for single residential buildings Click here to download the CRIS

You can complete the template at the link above or written submissions or letters can be emailed to BuildingReview@dmirs.wa.gov.au or posted in hard copy to the following address:

Attn: Building Approval Review Team
Policy and Legislation Branch
Building and Energy
Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
Locked Bag 100
EAST PERTH  WA  6892

At the conclusion of the public comment period, Building and Energy will prepare a Decision Regulatory Impact Statement, taking into account the feedback received during the consultation process.

Please direct any enquiries to BuildingReview@dmirs.wa.gov.au or phone 1300 489 099.

Electricity (Network Safety) Amendment Regulations 2019

Building and Energy proposes to amend the Electricity (Network Safety) Regulations 2015.

You are invited to review and comment on the text of the proposed amendments referred to below.

The proposed amendments are shown in two forms:

  • In context, which shows how the proposals will appear in the amended text of the regulations; and
  • as an explanatory memorandum, which shows each proposed amendment followed by the reason why the amendment has been proposed.

Please send any comments regarding the proposed amendments to ENSR@dmirs.wa.gov.au by 5pm on Friday 4 October 2019.

Review of the remote Aboriginal communities plumbing scheme

In December 2016, the Plumbers Licensing and Plumbing Standards Regulations 2000 were amended to enable basic emergency plumbing work to be performed in eligible remote Aboriginal communities by suitably trained Environmental Health Workers in prescribed circumstances (the ‘remote Aboriginal communities plumbing scheme’).
 
In introducing the remote Aboriginal communities plumbing scheme, the former Building Commission (now the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety – Building and Energy Division (Building and Energy) committed to reviewing the scheme once it had been in operation for at least 12 months.
 
A review of the remote Aboriginal communities plumbing scheme commenced in mid-2019 and a consultation paper seeking feedback from stakeholders was published in September 2019. 
 
 

Building and Energy received nine submissions providing comment and feedback in response to the consultation paper. The submissions were:

After taking into account the comment and feedback provided in the public submissions, a decision paper has now been published and can be viewed here

The decision paper concludes that the remote Aboriginal communities plumbing scheme is meeting its aims and objectives and is operating as intended. However, the review did identify some aspects of the scheme where refinements could be made. It is therefore intended to make the following minor changes to the scheme in Part 4A of the Plumbers Licensing and Plumbing Standards Regulations 2000 (the Plumbing Regulations):

  1. The scope of work permitted to be carried out under the scheme will be amended to:
    1. allow taps and shower roses to be repaired (currently they can only be replaced);
    2. allow domestic water filter cartridges to be replaced;
    3. allow cistern stop taps, flexible connectors and flush pipe connectors to be replaced; and
    4. exclude the use of hand-held water hoses to clear blocked waste pipes and drains or to unblock toilets, showers, basins, troughs, sinks and baths.
  2. The list of environmental health qualifications that eligible environmental health workers must hold is to be amended to also allow for higher-level tertiary qualifications in areas such as public health, population health, health science and environmental health science.
  3. Service providers are to be required to keep a register of the environmental health workers they employ or engage to carry out work under the scheme.

These minor changes will be implemented as part of the package of reforms Decision Regulatory Impact Statement: Reforms to Plumbing Regulation in Western Australia arising from the broader review of WA’s plumbing laws completed in November 2019.  

Progress payments and deposits in the Western Australian cabinet making industry

In 2018, the Cabinet Makers Association of Western Australia met with the then Minister for Commerce, the Hon Bill Johnston MLA, in relation to difficulties experienced by cabinet makers in legally claiming progress payments from their clients under the provisions of the Home Building Contracts Act 1991. The Minister asked the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) to investigate options to address these concerns.

The purpose of this consultation paper is to obtain building industry and public comment on two options for change that have been identified. It is also an opportunity for stakeholders to put forward any alternative views and options. Following receipt and analysis of comment, DMIRS will provide a final report with recommendations for change to the Minister for Commerce, the Hon John Quigley MLA.

Submissions and comments are invited by 6 September 2019.

Enquiries can be emailed to progpay@dmirs.wa.gov.au

Progress payments and deposits in WA cabinet making industry Click here to download the document

Advertisement of fixed/low-fee adjudications/advisory services

As part of its role in administering the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (the Act) and promoting the use of rapid adjudication to resolve contractual payment dispute, Building and Energy is interested in providing information to construction industry participants on the availability of:

  • adjudicators who are willing to conduct adjudications under the Act at a fixed fee or low cost rate; and
  • adjudicators who provide or are willing to provide advisory services to assist with preparing applications (or responses) in adjudication proceedings, and/or providing advice on contractual payment disputes.

Building and Energy is particularly focused on providing information to parties involved in lower value contractual payment disputes (i.e. less than $100,000), as they tend to be less familiar with using the adjudication process under the Act.To this end, Building and Energy is seeking expressions of interest from registered adjudicators who currently provide, or are interested in providing, adjudications and/or advisory services to parties on a fixed fee or low cost basis for low value payment disputes.

Details on the requirements and how to submit an expression of interest are available in the document EOI – Advertisement of fixed/low-fee adjudications/advisory services.

Enquiries can be emailed to cca@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

Review of the Architects Act 2004  – Report tabled in Parliament

About the Architects Board

The Architects Board of Western Australia is established by the Architects Act 2004 (the Act). The Board has registration, education, complaints and investigations powers. The Board is self-funding and operates independently of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. Further information about the Board and its activities is available on the Board’s website at www.architectsboard.org.au.

Under section 81 of the Act, the Minister for Commerce is responsible for carrying out a review of the operation and effectiveness of the Act and tabling a report on the review in Parliament.  The review process commenced with a consultation paper in 2015 by the former Building Commission which was then set aside due to urgent policy priorities in other areas. The further review of submissions, research, analysis and consultation with key stakeholders took place in 2018.

The Report of the Statutory Review of the Architects Act: Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (the DRIS) was tabled in Parliament on 12 March 2019.  

Report findings

The DRIS found that the Board is operating effectively and within budget under the current objects of the Act. The DRIS noted strong consumer protection benefits for clients of architects under the current regulatory model, such as:

  • strong requirements for registration;
  • complaints investigation;
  • capacity for disciplinary action before the State Administrative Tribunal;
  • requirements for continuing professional development; and
  • review and accreditation of architecture courses.  

In addition, there are broader risk mitigation benefits for the building and construction industry arising from the regulation of architects, continuing professional development framework (audited by the Board) and professional indemnity insurance requirements. 

The DRIS proposed a range of legislative improvements to the Board’s election and voting processes, clarification of investigation capacity, increases in penalties and improvements to the registration and licensing regime.

The DRIS noted a report requested by the Building Ministers’ Forum has identified new national recommendations for changes to building regulation, including recommendations for the building design sector. These recommendations will be canvassed as part of a broader review of the building legislation framework by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. 

Review of plumbing

The Building and Energy Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) is seeking comment on a number of proposals to reform the Plumbers Licensing Act 1995 and the Plumbers Licensing and Plumbing Standards Regulations 2000.

The reform proposals are outlined in a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (CRIS) published by DMIRS on 1 May 2018. The proposals represent the final stage of a significant program of reform of Western Australia’s plumbing laws that commenced in 2014 following the publication of a report commissioned from independent consulting firm, ACIL Allen Consulting.

The closing date for the receipt of comment on the CRIS was 31 July 2018.

Further information can be found on the “Plumbing review” webpage.

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