Advocacy in Action: Commercial Building Approvals reform update

Property Council WA recently met with Building & Energy to discuss elements of our submission on their CRIS paper looking at reforms to class 2-9 buildings, before we consider a new paper on registration of building engineers.

The reforms, stemming from the Building Confidence Report commissioned by the Building Ministers Forum, came in response to well publicised interstate and international building incidents. The CRIS paper was the second in the reform process, following consideration of class 1a and 1b building reforms late last year.

Although consultation was delayed due to COVID-19, Property Council WA provided a submission in June highlighting the concerns our members had with proposals around limitations to the use of building surveyors and additional red tape that wouldn’t improve building quality or safety.

Building & Energy confirmed that Property Council WA feedback on certain elements of our submission had been well received and would result in changes to the proposals, due to be finalised in a Decision Regulatory Impact Statement before being considered and implemented by the State Government.

Further information was provided to Building & Energy to clarify concerns about how certain additional requirements would be handled and the impact they would have on the planning and development process.

Property Council WA reiterated its support for a Building Surveyors Code of Conduct, which would provide a strong basis for unacceptable building practices to be prevented and rectified as appropriate. We also provided preliminary feedback about some newer proposals that had come about from Building & Energy’s consultation with other industry stakeholders.

We will provide an update on any final changes once they are published. Engineers and builders are encouraged to look at the third CRIS paper which explores registration of engineers in WA. Feedback to Building & Energy is due in early December.