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 are 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 were 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 commenced on 1 December 2019.
The new Part 6 (building and subdivision) provisions:
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:
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 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 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment (building and subdivision certification provisions) Regulation 2019.
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.
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: 29/04/2021