About the ABCB Board and the ABCB Office

About the Board

The Board reports to the Australian Government Minister and State and Territory Ministers responsible for building regulatory matters (known as the Building Ministers’ Forum). It provides a vital link for industry between building and plumbing practice, and government building and plumbing regulatory policy.
The Board consists of sixteen members including a Chair, up to five industry representatives, the head of each Commonwealth, State & Territory Administration responsible for building matters, and a representative of the Australian Local Government Association. A list of Board Members can be found here
 

The Board's Role

Under the Inter-Government Agreement (IGA) the Objectives of the Board are to:

  • develop codes and standards that accord with strategic priorities established by Ministers from time to time, having regard to societal needs and expectations;
  • establish codes and standards that are the minimum necessary to efficiently achieve the relevant mission of ensuring safety and health, and amenity and sustainability objectives;
  • ensure that, in determining the area of regulation and the level of the requirements:
    • there is a rigorously tested rationale for the regulation;
    • the regulations are effective and proportional to the issues being addressed such that the regulation will generate benefits to society greater than the costs (that is, net benefits);
    • there is no regulatory or non-regulatory alternative (whether under the responsibility of the Board or not) that would generate higher net benefits; and
    • the competitive effects of the regulation have been considered; and the regulation is no more restrictive than  necessary in the public interest.
  • ensure that the National Construction Code (NCC) requirements are:
    • performance-based;
    • verifiable;
    • based on appropriate international standards; and
    • expressed in plain English;
  • ensure that NCC requirements are as far as practicable consistent across the States and the Territories;
  • encourage reduced reliance on regulation by providing a forum to explore alternative mechanisms for delivering outcomes;
  • raise awareness of, and provide information to industry and relevant stakeholders on, the development of the NCC;
  • manage or oversee the management of product certification schemes relating to building and plumbing which assist the Board with achieving its other objectives listed above.

 

The ABCB Office

The ABCB Office’s primary role is to carry out and manage the implementation of the Board’s decisions in accordance with the IGA.
The ABCB office is a professional, technical and administrative group that supports the Board and its work program.
We are located within the Australian Government Department of Industry in Canberra. 
The Organisational Chart which outlines the structure of the ABCB can be found here.

If you wish to contact us, please click here for contact details.

 

Responsibilities

The ABCB Office’s responsibilities include:

  • Technical support services;
  • Consultation and liaison;
  • Management of research projects;
  • Advice on policy development;
  • Management and co-ordination of committee activities;
  • Information dissemination and awareness raising;
  • Administrative and operational support;
  • Financial management; and
  • Other matters as determined by the Board.

 

What we are not responsible for

Because the ABCB’s primary responsibility is to prepare and publish the NCC on behalf of the three levels of Government, the States and Territories are responsible under their various Acts and Regulations for administering the NCC.

State and Territory Acts and regulations set out the legal framework for the regulation of construction of buildings, building standards and maintenance of specific building safety features. Regulations are derived from the Acts and contain amongst other things, the requirements relating to building permits, building inspections, occupancy permits, and enforcement of the Regulations and maintenance of buildings. The Regulations call up the NCC as a technical reference that must be complied with.

In most cases, certain powers under these Acts and Regulations have been delegated to either local government authorities or private sector building certifiers, including the power to issue approvals, licences or permits for building work. These administering authorities are responsible for determining whether a building solution complies with the BCA in the first instance.

Therefore, the ABCB is not responsible for:

  • Rulings, interpretations or classifications, advice or dispute resolutions on specific construction projects or regarding State or Territory variations;
  • Occupational health and safety guidelines and legislation;
  • Workmanship control, quality, durability of materials or other building-related aspects not specifically required by the National Construction Code;
  • Construction matters such as demolition, site-related industrial matters and asbestos removal;
  • Administrative documents such as contracts, permits, compliance inspections and reports, stop-work notices and certificates;
  • Licensing and auditing of building and plumbing practitioners;
  • Regulatory offences and penalties and appeal processes;
  • Planning issues such as sub-division allotment orientation, minimum set-backs and fence heights.

Updated: 29 October 2013