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June 2016

Australian Building Codes Board update

BCA 2016

The 2016 edition of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) in the National Construction Code series was gazetted on 21 April 2016 and came into effect on 1 May 2016. Government Gazette No 22/2016 (page 1239)

BCA 2016 was adopted with amendments to the following provisions:

  • swimming pool safety barriers and secondary suction outlets
  • the definition of a small arts venue and its associated egress provisions
  • requirement for first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) signage for swimming pools

Advisory Notice 07/16 has been issued detailing the variations, additions and gazetted changes to the published BCA.

Webcast of the NCC 2016 Seminar series

The 2016 NCC Information Seminars hosted by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) are now available in the Resource Library on the ABCB website.

The webcast provides practitioners with an overview of the amendments to the NCC and how it will affect their work. Changes to Australian Standards referenced in the NCC are also presented by Australian Standards.

WaterMark information and resources survey

The ABCB is undertaking a survey in relation to the WaterMark Certification Scheme. All stakeholders are encouraged to complete the survey, which should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete. All responses will be treated as commercial-in-confidence. The survey closes on 22 June 2016.

Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016

On 21 April 2016 the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 was assented to by His Excellency the Governor the Honorable Hieu Van Le AO and is now an Act. Government Gazette No. 22/2016 (page 1238).

The Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 is not yet operational. It is anticipated to be brought into operation in stages over the next three to five years.

The planning reform website details the current status of the new Act and the future steps for implementation.

Progress on the fire safety of external walls

Fire safety guidelines for external walls

The CSIRO has developed a guideline providing advice and information about how to ensure compliance with the relevant codes and standards for the fire safety of external walls on high-rise buildings.

The Fire safety for external walls of buildings focusses on the fire testing and fire safety of aluminium composite panels, and other combustible materials, in the construction of external walls. For more information visit the CSIRO website.

Australian Standard AS 5113 Fire propagation testing and classification of external walls of buildings

Standards Australia has published AS 5113 Fire propagation testing and classification of external walls of buildings. The new standard sets out procedures for testing and classification of external walls.

A statement has been issued detailing the scope and intent of the new standard.

Articles of interest

A modest bunker house
In 1982, an unassuming bunker house was built in Arizona in the United States of America, by a former Army engineer. It took three years to design and build with the circular excavated house providing natural light to every room. The full article is available from

Natural pools are making a comeback

Natural pools are a chemical free alternative to the chlorinated and salt water swimming pools that are most commonly seen in backyards. In a natural swimming pool, a biofilter system keeps the pool water clean in place of chlorine, using plants to filter the water.

Media Release
The Minister for Planning, the Hon John Rau has issued a Media Release stating that South Australians home sharing their residential property, through companies like Airbnb, will not be caught up in unnecessary red tape. 

The issue of a person's period of stay in a residential property should not consitute a 'change in use' under the Development 1993 was recently clarified in Advisory Notice 04/16.

Relocation of the Building Policy Unit

From 20 June 2016 the Building Policy Unit, along with a number of other units from the Development Policy and Assessment Section, will be relocated to 211 Victoria Square, Adelaide.

The Unit will commence moving on Wednesday 15 June 2016. During this time you may experience difficulties in contacting staff within the Unit. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

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