NSW Design and Building Practitioners’ Bill

7 November 2019

The ACA welcomes NSW draft legislation and supports the NSW Government’s efforts on building quality.

The ACA – NSW/ACT branch continues to actively engage with the NSW State Government in lobbying for building reforms and better regulations. Branch President Agi Sterling and National President John Held recently met NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler to reiterate ACA’s commitment in supporting the Government’s efforts on building quality and regaining confidence from consumers as the end goal.

Together with key industry representatives and other stakeholders, Agi has also been working on a collaborative agenda with Minister Kevin Anderson’s office on the next tranche of reforms. On 16 October, the ACA provided comments via a submission lodged with the NSW Government’s Better Regulation Division on the draft Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019.

In principle, the ACA believes that the introduction of design certificates will result in an overall improvement in build quality, due to active involvement of designers during the entire building process.

However, the ACA stands firm that it is imperative the Bill is implemented and administered properly, in order to reduce the risk of substandard buildings and ensuing litigation and safety concerns. With effective implementation, the scheme should provide increased end-user protection, as designers will play a greater role in the building process, leading to a reduction in substandard practices.

NSW/ACT Branch President Agi Sterling says that the ACA will continue advocating on the proper execution of the Bill and the ongoing efforts to restore confidence in the building industry.

“Our aim is to provide best practice in design and project delivery to regain confidence in the building industry. The proposed Design and Building Practitioners Bill dictates that each person involved in the project is held accountable for their part, be it design or delivery. That’s a step in the right direction.

Architects already have a rigorous system of checks and balances in the form of the registration system and ongoing CPD. All building practitioners, particularly critical trades and associated professionals such as engineers and project managers, should be subject to registration schemes with similar frameworks.

While compliance with the Building Code of Australia is, of course, a minimum requirement, it’s important to note that the BCA is a living document that is updated constantly to meet the highest possible standards.”