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April 2016

Non-conforming and non-complying products update

On 31 July 2015 the Building Minister's Forum (BMF) met to consider the preliminary investigations into the Lacrosse building fire in Melbourne. The Ministers:

  1. established a Senior Officers Group (SOG) to develop strategies to address non-conforming building products. The Unit Manager Building Policy is a member of the SOG.
  2. requested that the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) investigate options for a mandatory scheme for high risk products; and consider amending the National Construction Code to require sprinklers on balconies. Initiatives include reviewing the evidence of suitability requirements, referencing a new Australian Standard 5113 - Fire propagation testing and classification of external walls in buildings in the NCC and reviewing the current provisions relating to the fire safety of external cladding to ensure clarity.

Both the SOG and the ABCB reported to the BMF at its meeting on 19 February 2016. The BMF produced a Communique outlining the strategies and measures to be undertaken to ensure the community can continue to have confidence in the safety of buildings in Australia. Ministers agreed that:

  1. the ABCB address in more detail the risks associated with cladding used in high rise buildings and work with the SOG and the States and Territories to address the non-compliant use of building products.
  2. the SOG, in conjunction with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, fast track the development of an information sharing platform between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories. The SOG report Strategies to address risks related to non-conforming building products has been released for public consultation and is available from the Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works website.

Senate inquiry into non-conforming building products
On 23 June 2015 the Senate referred an inquiry into non-conforming building products to the Senate Economics Reference Committee. Submissions closed on 3 August 2015.

Given the concerns raised in the written submissions, the Committee conducted two public hearings in Canberra on 13 November 2015 and in Melbourne on 15 February 2016.

The final report is due for release on 10 May 2016. Further information, including the submissions made to the inquiry, is available from the Parliament of Australia.

Development assessment fees 2016-17

The Construction Indices for 2016-17 have been gazetted (Government Gazette issue 20/2016) for adoption on 1 July 2016. 

Building Advisory Notice 06/16 Minister's Schedule of Construction Indices 2016-17 has been prepared to assist with the conversion of the indices to a fee/sqm.

Further advice on the changes to the Schedule 6 fees and the subsequent Planning Advisory Notices 12a and 12b will be issued in due course.

Obligations of councils and private certifiers

The Development Regulations 2008 requires councils and private certifiers to pay to the Minister for Planning a levy on building rules assessments and provide information relating to prescribed planning and development matters.

Building rules assessment levy return
Schedule 7 requires councils and private certifiers to remit 7% of the prescribed building rules assessment fee to the Minister for Planning. Remittance is required within 10 business days of the end of each quarter. If during a quarter no building rules assessments have been undertaken, a 'Nil' response should be emailed to

Credit card payments can be made to Planning Services*, telephone 08 7109 7018. Cheques should be made payable to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and posted with the completed form to:
Planning Services Branch
Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
GPO Box 1533

*Please note the change of address for Planning Services.

System indicators
Regulation 115 requires councils and private certifiers routinely provide information to the Minister for Planning in relation to prescribed planning and development matters. Information is required to be submitted within 21 days of the end of each quarter.

The collection and collation of this information contributes to a report providing a snapshot of development and the development system in South Australia.

Release of AIRAH Technical Bulletin

A technical bulletin on the fire safety of kitchen exhaust ventilation systems has been developed by the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH). The bulletin addresses recent updates to Australian Standards, changes to the maintenance requirements and the continuing fire risks within commercial kitchens. 

The bulletin aims to improve the understanding of the potential risks and highlights the need for all participants in the supply chain, from designers and installers through to owners, property managers and maintenance providers, to understand and manage their responsibilities.

The Building Policy Unit issues this newsletter to inform the industry about changes and developments in legislation, policy and practice. It is intended as general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice or an accurate statement of the relevant legislation provisions. If you are uncertain as to your legal obligations you should obtain independent legal advice.


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Page last modified Tuesday, 13 August 2019