Building regulation and certification provisions in the updated Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act), together with the Building Professionals Act 2005 (Building Professionals Act) and the Home Building Act 1989, play a key role in underpinning the design, construction and safety of buildings in NSW.
In 2015, the Independent Review of the Building Professionals Act 2005 (known as the 'Lambert Review') identified areas for improvement in the current building regulation and certification system. While many of the improvements relate to the certifier accreditation legislation, some related to the planning system.
The updated EP&A Act addresses issues identified by the Lambert Review by providing a clearer, more logical structure to building regulation and certification.
The key provisions relating to building regulation and certification will be contained in one part of the updated Act (Part 6). This includes a clear requirement set out in the Act to deal with the consistency between construction certificates and development consents, rather than being addressed in the regulation as was previously the case.
As this is a significant reform program, the changes are being rolled out in stages. Most of the updated EP&A Act commenced on 1 March 2018, including Division 6.7 (Building information certificates). The remaining Part 6 (building and subdivision certification) provisions were scheduled to commence on 1 September 2018.
The commencement of the remaining Part 6 provisions has been postponed until 1 December 2019, which will allow time for the sector to adjust to the numerous and significant regulatory changes that have been progressing around fire safety and the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018. It will also allow time for the Department to work with practitioners and other industry stakeholders to educate and prepare them for changes before they come into effect.
When they commence in 2019, the new Part 6 (building and subdivision) provisions will:
Overall, the changes will promote an effective building regulation, certification and maintenance system by:
For more information about these changes, you can view the following resources:
Until the new building and certification provisions take effect on 1 December 2019, it's business as usual. The current building provisions that were in force prior to 1 March 2018 continue to apply. The only division not deferred is Division 6.7 (Building information certificates). This division applied as of 1 March 2018 and repeals the old building certificate provisions.
For details on transitional arrangements between the previous and updated EP&A Act, please see the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Savings, Transitional and Other Provisions) Regulation 2017.
The former section 121ZP of the EP&A Act has been continued through clause 41 of Schedule 5 of the EP&A Act. This allows councils to continue to issue certificates as to whether there are outstanding orders or notices for a site.
Following the commencement of Part 6 on 1 December 2019, the provisions for Occupation Certificates and Subdivision Certificates will only apply to developments granted consent from 1 December. Consents issued before this date will continue to be subject to the old building provisions.
For further information you can email the Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read more about the changes to the Act see Part 7 - Infrastructure contributions.
Page last updated: 30/08/2019