Australia’s building ministers have agreed to significant building regulation reforms with the potential to unlock an additional $1.1 billion in economic benefits annually.
The reforms, adopted by the Australian Building Ministers’ Forum meeting in Sydney today, represent an important advance in the Council of Australian Governments’ deregulation agenda.
The forum agreed in principle to make the 2015 National Construction Code (NCC) and future editions freely available and online, with details to be finalised in the coming months.
This will eliminate the NCC’s purchase price (almost $400), improve small business’ access to the NCC, and increase the number of building and plumbing practitioners using the NCC from 12,000 to about 200,000 across Australia.
“This is a significant initiative to support the building and construction industry, which in Canberra is feeling the pressure. It is timely to align with other initiatives the ACT government has taken to support the sector and its contribution to the ACT economy,” Mr Corbell said.
“Agreeing to eliminate costs associated with buying the code will make it more accessible to the industry and mean that the building and construction sector can keep abreast of the latest changes.”
The NCC provides model regulations for buildings and plumbing and is given effect through state and territory legislation. It sets minimum requirements for the design, construction and performance of buildings throughout Australia.
The forum also agreed to move from a one-year to a three-year amendment cycle for the code.
The forum requested the Australian Building Codes Board further investigate the possible inclusion of matters concerning telecommunication spaces and pathways in the NCC.