Giving industry and the community a voice
Consultation is the cornerstone of the ABCB's commitment to create a contemporary and relevant construction code that delivers good societal outcomes for safety, health, amenity and sustainability in the built environment.
A joint initiative of all levels of government in Australia with representatives from industry, the ABCB's core focus is maintaining and updating the NCC. The ABCB recognises the value of engaging constructively with the community and industry in order to achieve this.
The ABCB recognises benefits to all stakeholders in a truly collaborative approach to tackling key issues affecting building and plumbing. The ABCB continues to work with government, industry bodies and the community to build Australia’s future.
The ABCB believes meaningful consultation can promote trust between industry, the community and government. Transparency allows stakeholders to see and judge the quality of government actions and regulatory decisions. Consultation also provides an opportunity for stakeholders to participate in the development of policy solutions and encourages broad ownership of solutions. A proper consultation process can also lead to the revision and modification of preliminary recommendations before a final decision is made, thereby delivering better outcomes for all.
The ABCB obtains input from government and industry stakeholders while seeking advice and assistance from building professionals, research communities, industry peak bodies, local governments, special interest groups and the community. This feedback covers the breadth of strategic, policy, technical, administrative and societal issues. Key stakeholders are identified and approached for inclusion in relevant project-specific committees and working groups.
Early consultation is instrumental to the technical amendment processes of the NCC and on broader regulatory reform matters. Consultation assists the ABCB in its role as regulatory 'gatekeeper' which includes consideration of alternatives to regulation. This engagement with the community is within the framework of Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) principles and guidelines for good regulatory practice, and supports the ABCB Inter-Governmental Agreement.
Through consultation, the ABCB aims to:
Promote trust between stakeholders and decision-makers by allowing regulatory decision-making processes to be monitored.
Enhance relationships with stakeholders by providing greater opportunities to participate in the development of the NCC.
Maximise the input of specialist knowledge and timely involvement of stakeholders.
Implement effective and transparent stakeholder engagement, communications and reporting arrangements.
Proposals for Change
Consultation with stakeholders occurs through the Proposal for Change (PFC) process, where proposed amendments to the NCC are discussed and considered by industry, government and other stakeholders.
Public Comment Draft
Each year, draft amendments to all three volumes of the NCC are circulated for public comment. More information including key dates and response templates and upload forms can be found on the Public Comment Draft page.
Regulation Impact Statements
Consultation is crucial to assessing the costs and benefits of proposed changes to the NCC. All major proposals are subject to early-stage Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) analysis to ensure that repercussions are clearly understood, and that all options have been considered. This process in undertaken in cooperation with the Office of Best Practice Regulation. Further information on the RIS process can be found on the Regulation Impact Analysis page.
Other Consultation Documents
From time to time the ABCB also seeks consultation on documents other than those listed above. These documents can be accessed on the Other Consultation Documents page.
The Consultation Forums
A range of events and information services enable the ABCB to connect with industry stakeholders:
Building Codes Committee (BCC)
The BCC consists of representatives from a broad cross section of building professions and the Australian, State and Territory governments. It provides expert technical advice to the ABCB on reforming, maintaining and updating the BCA.
Plumbing Code Committee (PCC)
The PCC consists of representatives from a broad cross section of plumbing professions and the Australian, State and Territory governments. It provides expert technical advice to the ABCB on reforming, maintaining and updating the PCA.
The ABCB participates on a number of consultative committee forums and various Standards Australia committees.
Public Information Seminars
The ABCB liaises with stakeholders through a series of annual information seminars held in capital cities around Australia, providing participants with an opportunity to discuss amendments to the NCC. The ABCB also contribute to numerous industry seminars.
The ABCB interacts with stakeholders at its biennial national conference, Building Australia's Future, which features presentations and workshops to inform stakeholders of current issues relevant to the building industry.
Australian Building Regulation Bulletin (ABRB)
The ABRB is a technical information magazine produced by the ABCB to provide NCC subscribers with updates about proposed changes to the code and expert opinions on significant technical and regulatory issues.
ABCB Enquiry Service
The ABCB enquiry service is a free tool for NCC subscribers to clarify BCA and PCA technical matters and access technical advice about provisions. The ABCB keeps a record of common enquiries to identify possible areas for improvement in the NCC.