The construction industry in NSW is on the verge of a significant shake-up as the NSW Government looks to reform and expand legislative oversight the design and build of mutli-storey and unit developments. The NSW Government has released the first draft of the Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 (the Bill). The Bill is in response to the Building Confidence Report by Professor Peter Shergold AC and Bronwyn Weir.

What is the intention of the Bill?

The Bill has introduced new reforms to improve the quality and compliance of design documents and strengthen accountability in the building and construction industry, as well as expanding the duty of care required for building and design practitioners.

What are the key reforms?

The key reforms for the Bill include:

1.       Introducing the concept of regulated designs, this would include designs for prescribed classes of building work or a building element;

2.       Requiring the design practitioner who has prepared the designs to issue a compliance declaration to declare that the design complies with the Building Code of Australia;

3.       Requiring the design practitioner to obtain, rely and build in accordance with declared designs;

4.       Requiring any variations to declared designs to be reprepared and declared by a design practitioner if they are in a building or performance solution, or documented by the building practitioner;

5.       Introducing the role of principal design practitioner;

6.       Requiring any design, principal design or building practitioner who intends on making a compliance declaration to be registered under the Bill; and

7.       Clarifying the common law to ensure that a duty of care is owned for construction works to certain categories of owners.

The Bill is currently in the Legislative Assembly awaiting debate on the second reading speech.

 The NSW Government intends on introducing a final bill by the end of the year and Morrissey Law & Advisory will keep you updated on the developments!

A copy of the Bill can be found here.


Disclaimer: This publication by Morrissey Law & Advisory is for general information and commentary only and should not be considered or relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in relation to any matters or transactions that may arise in relation with communication.