Background

In 2017, Building Ministers commissioned an independent expert examination of the compliance and enforcement problems in Australia’s building and construction regulatory systems affecting the implementation of the NCC.

The resulting BCR, prepared by Professor Peter Shergold AC and Ms Bronwyn Weir, made 24 recommendations to improve the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems in the building and construction industry across Australia.

Building Ministers supported the report’s findings, and in March 2019 agreed to an Implementation Plan. For further information on Building Ministers’ decision process and meeting outcomes, please visit the Building Ministers' meeting webpage.

The BCR Implementation Team

The Team, which is operating under the ABCB, develops and coordinates the responses to the BCR recommendations, in consultation with industry and governments. The responses can be broadly categorised as either NCC amendments, non-regulatory tools, educational programs or model guidance for states and territories to consider developing and drawing upon in their respective regulatory context.

In November 2020, Building Ministers acknowledged the impact of COVID-19 on the building industry and noted the importance of maintaining momentum on the BCR reforms. Building Ministers directed the Team to deliver recommendations 1, 2, 9, 11, and 13-18 by June 2021, with the remaining BCR recommendations to be finalised by December 2021. The National Framework has been updated to reflect Minister’s decisions.

The recommendations of the ABCB are considered by the Building Ministers, while adoption of the National Framework outputs and ultimate implementation of the BCR remains the responsibility of the state and territory governments.

Ongoing consultation

The Team is consulting extensively with industry and governments to develop responses that are practicable and implementable. This is being done through both targeted and public consultation and through feedback from Building Ministers.

Information on past and current public consultations can be accessed on the ABCB’s Consultation Hub. There you can provide comment on open consultation or see the results and submissions from previous consultations, including:

 

 

Discussion paper: Continuing professional development on the National Construction Code3OPEN: 26 July - 5 Sept 2021
Discussion paper: Involvement of fire authorities in building design8Closed: 9 June - 7 July
Discussion paper: Evidence of experience for building surveyor registration         4Closed: 24 May - 19 July 2021
Discussion paper: Draft National Building Product Assurance Framework 21Closed: 29 Mar - 6 June 2021
Discussion paper: Building Manuals 20Closed: 9 Mar - 17 May 2021
Discussion paper: Integrity of private building surveyors and their role in enforcement9 and 11Closed: 2 Mar - 27 Apr 2021
Discussion paper: Independent Third Party Review17Closed: 7 Dec 2020 - 28 Feb 2021 
Discussion paper: Mandatory Inspections18 Closed: 7 Dec 2020 - 28 Feb 2021
Discussion paper: Building Design Acceptance13 - 16 Closed: 16 Nov 2020 - 28 Feb 2021
Discussion paper: Auditing and Compliance Publication FrameworkClosed: 9 Nov 2020 - 31 Jan 2021
Definition for building complexityNA Closed: 22 May - 1 Nov 2020 
Discussion paper: National Registration Framework for Building Practitioners 1 and 2Closed: 26 Jun - 23 Aug 2020
Survey: Reporting on the auditing of commercial buildings7Closed: 30 Jun - 14 Jul 2020 
Discussion paper: Model Code of Conduct for Building Surveyors10 Closed: 3 Mar - 24 Apr 2020
To be advised when new public consultations open, please ensure that you are registered to receive communications from the ABCB via your NCC subscription.

Work so far

The Team provides regular updates to Building Ministers. On 30 April 2021 Building Ministers were updated on the Team’s work on Building Confidence Reforms, including progress with the development of the National Registration Framework. Ministers are expected to convene mid-year to consider and decide on the remaining priority deliverables under the Building Confidence National Framework.

The Team has already delivered responses to some elements in the National Framework, including:

Engagement via consultative groups

DeliverableBCR recommendationAction
Model Terms of Reference – Intra-jurisdictional Building Regulator Coordination Committee 5Provided to Building Regulators following noting by Building Ministers and published on ABCB website.
Model regulatory powers for building compliance and enforcement6Provided to states and territories following agreement by Building Ministers and published on ABCB website.
Model National Code of Conduct for Building Surveyors10Provided to states and territories following endorsement by Building Ministers, and published on the ABCB website.
Process for documenting Performance Solutions14 (part)Agreed by Building Ministers as part of NCC 2019 Amendment 1.
Definition of Building ComplexityNAAgreed by Building Ministers for inclusion in NCC 2022 Public Comment Draft, and continued development of regulatory interventions to reduce non-compliance.
Further information on the work of the Team is in the latest Public Report. Implementation of agreed responses to BCR recommendations remains the responsibility of state and territory governments. Status on implementation should be sought from the individual state and territory governments.

Engagement via consultative groups

The Team’s work is supported by two consultative groups created to ensure effective engagement with industry and to provide expert advice on BCR matters. These are an Experts Panel, and an Industry Leaders Consultative Group.

While each group has a particular focus, their broad purpose is to provide advice and guidance to the Team with the engagement of the Experts Panel being more focused on delivering specific advice on each of the recommendations. Both groups include a broad cross-section of industry representatives who bring to the discussion technical expertise and experience in a range of relevant fields.

Membership of the Experts Panel:

  • Bronwyn Weir - Construction law
  • Jennifer Robertson - Corporate governance
  • Peter Gow - Government policy/engineering
  • Ari Akritidis - Building surveying
  • Peter Johnson - Fire engineering
  • Robert Care - Engineering

Membership of the Industry Leaders Consultative Group:

  • Master Builders Australia
  • Housing Industry Association
  • Strata Community Association
  • Australian Institute of Building
  • Australian Institute of Architects
  • Australian Local Government Association
  • Australian Institute of Building Surveyors
  • Engineers Australia
  • Fire Protection Association Australia
  • Consult Australia
  • Property Council of Australia
  • Association of Accredited Certifiers
  • Australasian Fire Emergency Service Authorities Council
  • Australian Industry Group
  • Master Plumbers Australia
  • Building Designers Association of Australia

Should you wish to contact the Team, you can email bcrimplementationteam@abcb.gov.au.