Have your say on the Building Act 1975

Building certification in Queensland and the Building Act 1975 are currently being reviewed by the Department of Housing and Public Works and the Queensland Building and Construction Commission. The review should help reduce unnecessary regulation and red tape.

The aim of the review is to achieve better accountability to consumers, provide protection from conflicts of interests and decrease delays and costs within the Queensland building and construction industry. The Review of the Building Act 1975 and Building Certification in Queensland Discussion Paper states this is in line with the Queensland’s government’s aim to strengthen the construction industry.

In the discussion paper, it is estimated that in the 2013-14 financial year the construction industry contributed $60 billion to the economy.

The act commenced April 1 1976 and for the first time set out the standard building by-laws in Queensland. In the 1990s, the National Construction Code (previously the Building Code of Australia) introduced a consistent set of minimum building standards and replaced the standard building by-laws.

The act regulates building approvals, work, classification and pool safety inspectors and building certifiers. It also provides for issues relating to swimming pool safety and sustainable buildings. Potential improvements to the act that have been identified are building certifiers, development applications and approvals, inspections and certificate and enforcement. 

Private certification in the construction industry in Queensland was established in 1998 to improve efficiency and flexibility and introduce competition among service providers. There are an estimated 347 private certifiers in Queensland. 

There have been reviews of the Act and private certification as recently as 2006. In 2012 Transport, Housing and Local Government Parliamentary Committee made 41 recommendations on the operation and performance of the Queensland Building Services Authority. One of the results of these recommendations was the review of private certifiers that currently practise in Queensland. 

If you are interested in how a change in building certification and how the Building Act 1975 may affect you then talk to a property lawyer, have your say via an online survey by July 25 2014 or submit a written proposal to the review.