Building Products (Safety) Bill 2017

The Building Products (Safety) Bill 2017 was passed by parliament on 23 November 2017 and assented to on 30 November 2017. The Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 (NSW) will commence on a date to be appointed by proclamation. No proclamation has been made yet. The key points of the Act are explained here


Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2017

As part of the suite of reforms to combat the dangers associated with combustible cladding on buildings, a draft regulation has been introduced under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (EP&A Act). The draft Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2017 (the Regulation) would require building owners to notify and register with the NSW Government if their building has combustible external wall cladding. The Regulation also requires building owners to undertake a fire safety assessment if necessary.

The building owner would be required to provide the Secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment with:

  1. details of the building and the combustible cladding; and
  2. a cladding statement which provides:
    1. that the cladding on the building has been inspected by a properly qualified person (the inspector);
    2. the inspector’s opinion as to whether the cladding presents a risk to the safety of persons or to the spread of fire, in the event of a fire; and
    3. details of actions necessary to address any such risk.

An authorised fire officer or the council for the area where the building is located would also have power to direct a building owner to provide details of the building and the combustible cladding.

The Regulation would not apply to:

  • separate houses;
  • outbuildings;
  • residential buildings under two storeys; or
  • non-residential buildings under three storeys.


The Regulation is open for public consultation until 16 February 2018.  For more information please see the Department of Planning and Environment website

Editorial: Eleanor Grounds 
 

In the media

Home builder fined $380,000 over misleading review websites
Perth residential building company Aveling Homes is fined $380,000 for creating websites which filtered out negative reviews, which the Federal Court found was liable to mislead the public and create a more favourable impression of the firm's services (01 December 2017).  More...

October Building Approvals in Surprise Increase
ABS approvals data released on Thursday showed a rise in approvals for construction of new homes of 0.9 per cent, defying analysts’ expectations of a 1.0 per cent decline (30 November 2017).  More...

House prices 'based on undersupply myth'
Australia does not have a housing shortage, with inner-city areas of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane some of the nation's most oversupplied regions, according to new research from ANU (20 November 2017).  More...

Dural building company prosecuted after worker suffers brain injury in fall
A Dural building company has been fined $60,000 for failing to ensure the safety of a worker who was seriously injured during a fall (28 November 2017).  More...

Asbestos Awareness Month Goes into Overtime
The NSW Environment Protection Authority will team up with SafeWork, RID Squads and Council to conduct joint inspections at waste facilities, building and demolition sites, and businesses between 27 November and 4 December (27 November 2017).  More...

Government launches safety blitz to drive down construction deaths
Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean today launched a year-long blitz to crack down on dodgy construction businesses which put their workers at risk. Mr Kean said the number of falls from heights reported to SafeWork NSW had more than tripled in the last five years – with the majority happening on construction sites (22 November 2017).  More...

Industry fury as NSW government waters down building products legislation
Building industry stakeholders are outraged that the NSW government has covertly and substantially watered down legislation to reduce non-compliant and non-conforming building product use (22 November 2017).  More...

Published

ACI Construction Briefs
20 November 2017: ACI Construction Brief: Where would we be without the construction industry?

Australian Bureau of Statistics
30/11/2017 Building Approvals, Australia, Oct 2017 (cat no. 8731.0).
22/11/2017 Construction Work Done, Australia, Preliminary, Sep 2017 (cat no. 8755.0).

Practice and courts

ABCB: Adoption of NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1
Release and adoption dates for NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1 are now available (28 November 2017).  More...

Australian Cladding and Building Standards Summit 2017
The Australian Cladding & Building Standards Summit, 7-8 Dec 2017, Melbourne, will address issues of safety standards and non-conforming building products.  More...

Registration is now open for the 2018 NCC Information Seminars
In February and March 2018, a representative from the ABCB will be coming to a capital city near you. Don't miss out on your opportunity to hear about the following BCA initiatives: NCC 2016 Volume One amendment addressing fire safety; NCC 2019 public comment draft; The improved CodeMark scheme; and The practical development and assessment of Performance Solutions. Click here to register.

31 December 2017 signals the end for the transitional period for the BASIX energy targets
Home buyers wishing to take advantage of the lower pre-July energy targets under the transitional arrangements will need to apply for a BASIX certificate before 31 December 2017. After this date, the lower pre-July 2017 targets will no longer be available and all new homes and units will be subject to the energy targets introduced on 1 July 2017 (21 November 2017).  More...  More...

NSW BPB: Strata building bond scheme now commences 1 January 2018
The new strata building bond and inspection scheme will now commence on 1 January 2018.  More...

Cases

SCC (Sam Construction Company) Pty Ltd v Wingate [2017] NSWCATAP 222
Costs - special circumstances - section 60 of the NCAT Act - indemnity costs.  

Thacker v Bonham [2017] NSWCATAP 217
Home Building – error in evidence before primary member – discretion on remedy – works order.

The Owners-Strata Plan No. 30791 v Southern Cross Constructions (ACT) Pty Limited (In Liquidation) [2017] NSWSC 1660
CIVIL PROCEDURE – Referral to referee – Adoption of referee report – Whether report should be rejected for actual or apprehended bias – Whether referee failed to comply with rules of natural justice.
Texts Cited: Building Code of Australia. In these proceedings, the Owners Corporation seeks to recover in respect of structural and aesthetic damage said to have been caused to the building by excavation, shoring and piling work (the Works) carried out on the adjacent property.

Bui v DB Homes Australia Pty Ltd [2017] NSWCATAP 218
APPEAL – Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NSW) – whether question of law – whether leave should be granted on a question of fact – Extension of time – leave to appeal - self-represented litigants – leave denied DAMAGES – Assessment of damages – imprecise calculation of quantum of damages – damage not in contemplation of the parties.
EVIDENCE – Whether additional evidence was ‘new – relevance of evidence to matter on Appeal.

Manbead Pty Ltd v The Owners – Strata Plan No 87635 [2017] NSWSC 1629
APPEALS – application for leave to appeal against decision of NCAT Appeal Panel on a question of law – no error of law established   BUILDING CLAIMS – claims by Owners Corporation and individual lot owners in respect of common property – whether Appeal Panel erred in assuming separate claims were maintainable – whether Appeal Panel erred in declining to consider Scott Schedule prepared after consent orders were entered for purpose of determining whether claim exceeded Tribunal’s jurisdictional limit.

White v Sunrise Pools Australia Pty Ltd [2017] NSWCATAP 216
APPEAL - Home building – Where home owner represented by her husband - Whether breach of procedural fairness – Whether Tribunal complied with obligation to self-represented litigant or non-legally trained agent – Whether Tribunal erred in interpretation and application of Home Building Act – Whether Tribunal erred in directing that the builder return to rectify defects when the contract has been terminated.

Legislation

Bills revised following amendment in Committee – week ending 24 November 2017
Building Products (Safety) Bill 2017

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament – week ending 24 November 2017
Building Products (Safety) Bill 2017

Bills assented to
Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 No 69 — Assented to 30 November 2017

For the full text of Bills, and details on the passage of Bills, see Bills.

Draft regulations
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2017
This regulation is currently open for public consultation until 16 February 2018.  For more information see the Department of Planning and Environment website


Contacts:

Christine Jones, Partner - Construction & Infrastructure (Dispute Resolution) 
T: +61 2 8083 0477 
E: christine.jones@holdingredlich.com

Stefanie Dunnicliff, Senior Associate 
T: +61 2 8083 0464 
E: Stefanie.Dunnicliff@holdingredlich.com

Divya Chaddha, Associate 
T: +61 2 8083 0457
E: Divya.Chaddha@holdingredlich.com


Disclaimer

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this publication is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. We are not responsible for the information of any source to which a link is provided or reference is made and exclude all liability in connection with use of these sources.

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