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Building Act Amendments passed in Parliament

Western Australia’s new building laws provide the modern and flexible legislation necessary to move our important and expanding industry forward.

With around 20,000 building applications in our state every year involving almost 140 local governments; more than 6,600 registered builders and around 250 registered building surveyors, changing over to the new system has been a bold undertaking but also a vital one.

Some minor amendments to the Building Act made in consultation with our key stakeholders and industry partners, have now passed through Parliament and make good legislation even better.

The amendments:

  • minimise time delays when a permit authority needs missing information before making a decision on an application;
  • provide more flexibility for builders accessing vacant or unoccupied land;
  • clarify the powers of public authorities and permit authorities; and
  • enable fine-tuning through regulation at a later stage by introducing a head of power.

Amendments that do not need supporting regulations will come into effect upon Royal Assent. Amendments that require regulation changes are expected to come into effect in early December 2012.

The Building Act is supported by a range of other new legislation introduced, which protects the community by setting standards, making sure contractors have the skills, experience and financial capacity to deliver what they promise. It provides a single place, the Building Commission, for people to get information and seek help with complaints.

The new laws mean our industry is now better placed to deliver great and safe buildings for Western Australians, without being restricted by the unnecessary red tape and hurdles that came from operating within a system that was more than 50 years old. They put us in line with other states in the country and bring new energy to an industry that in some way touches the lives of all Western Australians.

Between now and when the full amendments come into effect, the Building Commission will be working to ensure members of our industry are informed about the changes that affect them through contact with stakeholders and updated publications. You can make sure you receive this information by signing up to our mailing list.

For further information we have a dedicated hotline to help on 1300 771 315.