Building Ministers' Forum Communiqué: June 2017
Since the 2014 Lacrosse Apartment fire in Melbourne, the Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) has been working collectively on proactive and appropriate responses to ensure that our buildings, in particular high-rise buildings, are safe and our compliance and enforcement systems are robust.
The BMF, in response to the concerns raised as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire in London, is commissioning an expert to report back as quickly as possible to examine the broader compliance and enforcement problems within the building & construction systems (for example: education, licensing, design, quality assurance, competencies of practitioners, importation) affecting the implementation of the National Construction Code (NCC).
Further, under the direction of BMF, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) will expedite progress in the implementation of measures through the NCC that will prevent the non-compliant use of cladding from occurring in the future.
The BMF would like to acknowledge the work the states and territories are undertaking to improve building regulatory systems, for example the introduction by Queensland of the Building and Construction Legislation (Non-conforming Building Products—Chain of Responsibility and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2017.
Further, the BMF has instructed the Senior Officers’ Group to finalise the implementation of the recommendations set out in the Strategies to Address Risks Related to Non-Conforming Building Products report, in particular the establishment of a national forum of building regulators.
In addition, from 1 July 2017, the BMF is implementing a one-stop shop website that will provide general information on non-conforming building products, and include the ability for the public to submit a complaint or enquiry about a product or material. The website can be found at: http://www.abcb.gov.au/NCBP/Non-Conforming-Building-Products.
The BMF also acknowledges the extensive work of the Senate Economics Committee Inquiry into Non-Conforming Building Products.
The BMF will reconvene in October 2017 to continue this important national dialogue.