Have your say on home building approvals

Building and Energy is inviting Western Australians to share their views on ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of home building approval processes.

A public consultation launched today is seeking input from property owners, the building industry, local government and other stakeholders with an interest in home construction.

Under WA’s current home building approval processes, a building surveyor must verify that the proposed construction complies with the minimum prescribed building standards. A building permit must also be issued by the local government permit authority before work begins.

“The quality, safety and cost of building work is heavily influenced by the building approvals process,” Building and Energy A/Executive Director Saj Abdoolakhan said.

“Through this consultation, we are looking at whether approval processes for homes – referred to as single residential buildings – could be more effective, consistent and streamlined.

“We are especially interested in whether these processes are efficient or if there are unnecessary delays and additional costs. Likewise, are they effective in ensuring buildings comply with applicable standards and other safety considerations?”

Mr Abdoolakhan said the consultation was part of a wide-ranging suite of reviews into compliance and enforcement in the WA building industry, following the recommendations of a major national report, Building Confidence.1

The consultation paper presents three options for consideration: business as usual; the introduction of full private certification including all Building Confidence recommendations; and improvements to the current process that include relevant recommendations from the report.

One key discussion topic is whether inspections of building work should be compulsory.

“Many people may be unaware that there are no mandatory inspection requirements for single residential buildings,”Mr Abdoolakhan said.

“Although a permit authority can inspect the building work at any stage of construction, there is no obligation to do so.

“We welcome all feedback from stakeholders, particularly on the potential costs and benefits of the various options.”

The Consultation regulatory impact statement – Reforms to the building approval process for single residential buildings in Western Australia is available at the Building and Energy website (via dmirs.wa.gov.au or this link) and will be open for comment until 9 December 2019. 

Separate consultations will take place later this year on approval processes for commercial buildings and the registration requirements for building industry participants.

Contact Building and Energy on 1300 489 099 for more information.