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NCC taskforce proposed at BMF-industry meeting

Posted on : Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The COAG Building Ministers' Forum (BMF) meeting on Friday included an Industry Forum of peak industry bodies and professional association representatives from the building and construction sector, of which Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) was one.


During the Industry Forum, the representatives shared their views on the recommendations of the Shergold-Weir report, Building Confidence - Improving the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the building & construction industry across Australia. There was a consistent theme to responses, demonstrating a united resolve by industry to assist governments in implementing the Shergold-Weir recommendations.


The industry presented a combined proposal to the BMF on how to address the next steps following the report's recommendations, including regular meetings between industry and the BMF, and critically the establishment of a new taskforce between government and industry to oversee nationally-consistent regulatory reforms.


The proposed taskforce is intended to draw together government and industry to manage the development of a model administrative code for the National Construction Code (NCC) to harmonise requirements and compliance with the NCC across all states and territories wherever possible. Nationally-consistent implementation is critical to the success of the Shergold-Weir report's recommendations.


Following the meeting, the BMF announced it would develop a paper setting out an implementation plan for reform, incorporating feedback from industry stakeholders, which will be considered at the next BMF meeting in December. The paper will focus on recommendations 9 to 11 from the Shergold-Weir report, which cover private building surveyors, with consideration of recommendations 1, 2 and 13, which cover registration of building practitioners and building approval documentation.


"The Shergold-Weir report's recommendations set out a roadmap to improve the compliance and therefore safety of Australia's buildings," said Matthew Wright, FPA Australia's General Manager - Technical Services/Deputy CEO, who attended the BMF meeting.


"Successfully implementing them is only possible with a national approach that draws together both government and industry, however, and that is the goal of the proposed new taskforce."


"We're pleased the BMF is progressing the issue with the upcoming implementation paper, and encourage the ministers to adopt the holistic view needed to properly address the broad challenges to improving building compliance, rather than focusing on isolated areas."


"We also congratulate the BMF on acknowledging the need for regular and coordinated industry consultation, which will become an important mechanism for government to work together with industry on regulatory developments in the building and construction sector."


"Both government and industry have a shared responsibility to provide leadership and restore confidence in the building and construction industry."


Other significant outcomes from the meeting for the fire protection sector were a directive to develop an Australian Standard for the permanent labelling of aluminium composite panels, and planning to nationally address professional indemnity insurance challenges facing building practitioners.