The Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 is set to bring some big changes to the development industry.
In summary, the aims of the new bill are as follows:
- Compliance declarations – to require compliance declarations for regulated designs to be provided by registered design practitioners and principal design practitioners who provide designs for applicable building work;
- Obligations on registered building practitioners – to impose obligations on registered building practitioners who carry out applicable building work to take all reasonable steps to provide building compliance declarations and to obtain compliance declarations for regulated designs;
- Obligations on building practitioners – to impose on building practitioners who do applicable building work:
- an obligation not to carry out the work unless regulated designs have been obtained and compliance declarations provided; and
- an obligation to take all reasonable steps to comply with the applicable requirements of the Building Code of Australia,
- New duty of care owed by persons who carry out construction work – to establish a duty of care owed by persons who carry out construction work relating to certain buildings to take reasonable care to avoid economic loss caused by defects arising from the work (if this duty is breached it is possible for legal proceedings in negligence to be commenced);
- Registration scheme – to establish a registration scheme for design practitioners, principal design practitioners and building practitioners who are subject to compliance declaration requirements and to establish insurance requirements for registered practitioners;
- Enforcement – to provide for enforcement of the requirements of the proposed Act (enforcement powers for persons appointed as “authorised officers” including information gathering powers and powers to enter premises); and
- Register of practitioners – to establish a register of practitioners registered under the proposed Act.
As at 3 June 2020 the Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 is awaiting assent by the NSW Governor and is not yet law. When it is assented to:
- the new duty of care will commence immediately; and
- most other provisions will commence on 1 July 2021.