On the 5 January 2014 the Minister for Workplace Relations in the Tasmanian State Government, Mr David O’Byrne, announced that the Government had intention to commence a “systematic and complete review of the Tasmanian Building Regulatory Framework“.
Minister O’Byrne said that “Buildings must be designed, constructed and maintained in a way that meets minimum safety standards, delivers community and consumer expectations of performance and sustainability, and contributes to the State’s economy”.
The announcement also advised that the consultative process would commence with the release of an ‘issues paper’ in early 2014, followed by a discussion paper later in the year outlining recommendations.
The Building Regulatory Advisory Committee will oversee the review, being the industry advisory group appointed by the Government to the administration of the Building Act 2000.
In addition to the review, the Government proposes to undertake public consultations and establish:
- A Local Government Technical Advisory Group;
- A Building Practitioner Technical Advisory Group;
- An Industry Reference Group formed from representatives of the Industry Associations; and
- A Consumer based advisory process.
He went on to say that:
“The quality, safety and cost of building work is heavily influenced by the States building regulatory framework and prescribed building standards. Therefore, efficiency of building regulation is vital to ensure an efficient industry.
Most other States and Territories have completed reviews of their Building Frameworks over the past 10 years. It is extremely important that Tasmania does the same to ensure the framework is similarly efficient and responsive to modern industry.
The current regulatory framework is based on model legislation developed in the 1990s. Tasmania and Victoria enacted very similar frameworks to give effect to the model. Notably, Victoria has undertaken a major review and this resulted in significant changes, whilst still maintaining the objectives of the model.
Government has announced a doubling of the state’s first home builders grant to stimulate activity and job creation in the building industry.
There have also been reforms to the planning system to speed up the planning approval process. But the Building Framework has remained virtually unchanged for more than 10 years’.”
Building Certifiers in Tasmania should consider an Access Peer Review for any Alternative Solutions relating to an access provision to mitigate risk and verify the design complies with the relevant performance criteria.
By Lee Wilson, Disability Access Consultant / DDA Consultant, Melbourne, Victoria. Lee is an Accredited Member of the Association of Consultants in Access, Australia Inc.