New South Wales' Innovation and Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean has announced plans to appoint a new Building Commissioner to oversee and approve construction of new multi-storey residential buildings, and ensure building practitioners are competent.
The announcement follows the COAG Building Ministers' Forum (BMF) meeting last week which discussed compliance with the National Construction Code and the duty of care of builders, among other issues including support for a national combustible cladding ban.
The new Building Commissioner would be responsible for approving high-rise designs, and for registering and auditing building practitioners.
Under the plan, all designers and builders involved in high-rise construction will need to be registered and qualified, and will need to declare buildings are compliant with the Building Code of Australia.
The office of the Building Commissioner would also conduct regular audits of practitioners.
Kean also said the NSW Government would accept the "vast majority" of recommendations from the Shergold-Weir Building Confidence report, a move welcomed by industry in the wake of the Opal Tower fiasco.
Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA) CEO, Scott Williams, said the appointment would provide much-needed oversight and accountability for the NSW construction industry.
"The fire protection industry has long advocated that building practitioners at all levels must have the necessary competence and be accredited to perform their job roles. Minister Kean's announcement is an important step towards regaining consumers' confidence in their buildings, and in those who design, build and maintain them,” he said.
"FPA Australia looks forward to continuing to work with the NSW Government on improving fire safety and construction outcomes in the state."