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August 2016

DPTI staff changes

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure welcomes Mr Ekramul Ahasan as the Building and Compliance Officer.

Mr Ahasan originally hails from Bangladesh and gained a Bachelor of Architecture from the Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology before commencing a Graduate Diploma in Building Surveying at the University of South Australia. Besides working in Bangladesh in the field of architecture, his employment history has involved working as an Assistant Building Administrator at Al Munsoor Consult in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and as an Architectural designer & drafter at T.K Building Design in Unley, SA.

Over the last 3 years, he has worked with Wattle Range Council as an Assistant Building Surveyor (Level 2 accreditation) and Cadet Building Surveyor undertaking building rules assessments, compliance inspections and customer service. He has experience in conducting audit inspections/investigations of selected buildings as the council representative for their Building Fire Safety Committee and has also been a member of the South East Local Government Inspectorial Group (SELGIG), during which he has gained invaluable experience with outback and rural area issues.

Mr Ahasan will work closely with the Outback Communities Authority for the Out-of-Council areas where the Development Assessment Commission has jurisdiction for development assessment.

In August 2016 Mr Andrew Grear resigned from the Department to take up the position of Executive Director for Planning, Building and Heritage within the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Andrew made a significant contribution to DPTI, not only in his areas of professional expertise but as a role model and mentor to staff. We thank Andrew for his contribution and wish him well in his new position.

Energy efficiency verification using a reference building

The Department has been made aware of an interpretation issue in relation to the 'verification using a reference building' assessment method for determining compliance with the energy efficiency provisions.

The Building Code of Australia and the NCC Volume Two Energy Efficiency Handbook published by the Australian Building Codes Board are clear that the heating and cooling loads are to be determined using the same criteria for both the proposed building and the reference building. As an example, the reference building cannot be modelled using one climate zone and the proposed building modelled using a different climate zone. This has also previously been explained in Advisory Notice 04/12.

Prefabricated engineered products

Establishment of Working Group

Several industry groups have raised concerns with the current South Australian legislative approval processes and whether they could better accommodate the use of prefabricated engineered products.

A working group consisting of representatives from various areas of the construction and assessment industry (manufacturing, certification, local government, installation) has been formed. The group will investigate and identify issues with the current legislated approval process and will consider a number of ways in which innovative manufacturing models can be accommodated. Consideration of an appropriate framework under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act will also be explored.

The Working Group has defined terms of reference and preliminary scoping sessions have been scheduled with key stakeholders and industry associations.

Advisory Notices

The Department has published Planning Advisory Notices 12a and 12b relating to the gazetted development fees:

The notices are also available on the building advisory notices webpage.

Professional indemnity insurance for private certifiers

Private certifiers should note that a number of professional indemnity insurance providers (and underwriters) are including limitations on their policies that result in an individual not being covered should the development being assessed include aluminium cladding panels.

Policies with such limitations do not comply with Schedule 23 as required by regulation 93 of the Development Regulations 2008.

Please note that from 1 July 2016 the Schedule 23 checklist is no longer required as part of the renewal of registration documentation, however the full Product Disclosure Statement as well as the Certificate of Currency is required.

All practitioner documentation should be emailed to:  or posted to:

The Registration Authority for Private Certifiers
GPO Box 1815

Electronic certificates of compliance for electrical, gas and plumbing

From late 2016, the Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) is transitioning from the current paper-based process for electrical, gas and plumbing certificates of compliance to an automated electronic system called eCoC.

Regulation changes are required in order for the eCoC system to be implemented and these changes are anticipated to be adopted in early 2017.

Interested practitioners can keep up to date with the changes in the Regulation Roundup newsletter issued by the OTR or from the electronic certificates of compliance webpage.


WaterMark Scheme

On 1 July 2016, the improved WaterMark Scheme was launched with the publishing of the draft WaterMark Scheme Rules and a Notice of Direction advising the cost recovery arrangements for the improved Scheme.

Over the next year it is anticipated that a new WaterMark Product Database will be launched, the finalised version of the improved single level WaterMark Scheme Rules will be published and the new cost recovery arrangements will be implemented.

Further future directions on the WaterMark Scheme are detailed on the ABCB website.

Call centre arrangements

From 1 August 2016, the ABCB telephone enquiries line will be answered (as the ABCB) through the Commonwealth Department of Industry’s call centre.

Under these new arrangements, the 1300 134 631 service will now operate from 8am to 8pm AEST (currently 8.30am to 5.00pm AEST).

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.


We welcome your feedback and suggestions – please contact us via email

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