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Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 – Released

October 03, 2019

In June 2019, the NSW Government, in its response to the Shergold Weir Building Confidence Report, released its Building Stronger Foundations discussion paper. The discussion paper contained a number of proposals aimed at implementing the recommendations in the Building Confidence Report.

Last week the Government took the next step and released the Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 (the Bill) for public consultation until 16 October 2019.

The Bill establishes a registration scheme and requires the registration of building designers who provide plans and specifications for major elements of building work. Designers will also be required to hold appropriate insurance and make a declaration that their design complies with the BCA.

The Bill also requires that a ‘principal contractor’ must be registered as a Building Practitioner and make a declaration that the building work complies with the BCA.

It is understood that the above functions will initially be introduced only for apartment buildings (class 2), but other building types are likely to be included in the future.

The Bill also introduces a duty of care legal liability regime which will apply to the industry more widely and include class 1 buildings (single dwellings). This is intended to provide home owners with an additional way to access legal remedy if a builder fails to exercise reasonable care during their work and defects arise causing economic loss to the home owners.

HIA is disappointed that the Bill is being proposed as a standalone Act when many of the proposed requirements and functions could easily have been incorporated into other Acts such as the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1989, which would have provided greater efficiency. The approach the Government has taken means that there will be conflicting definitions in place for things such as ‘building work’ and ‘principal contractor’ which is likely to create confusion for industry, rather than confidence. 

HIA will continue working towards understanding what the impact of the Bill will be, and will keep members informed.

The Bill can be viewed here.

 To find out more contact your workplace advisor on 1300 650 620.