About

Consultation is the cornerstone of the Australian Building Codes Board's (ABCB) commitment to maintaining a contemporary and relevant National Construction Code (NCC). There are significant societal outcomes generated by engaging constructively with the community and industry, and a collaborative approach in confronting key issues affecting the building and plumbing industries. These benefits reach into areas such as safety and health; amenity and accessibility, and sustainability in the built environment.

The ABCB seeks input from a range of stakeholders. These include building and plumbing professionals, research communities, industry peak bodies, local governments, special interest groups and the community. The ABCB also encourages stakeholder involvement in project-specific committees and working groups. The feedback received from these groups assists in fully informing strategic, policy, technical, administrative and societal issues.

Philosophy

Meaningful consultation promotes trust between industry, the community and government. Transparency allows stakeholders to see and judge the quality of government actions and regulatory decisions. It also provides an opportunity to participate in developing policy solutions and encourages broad ownership of solutions.

Early consultation is instrumental to the technical amendment processes of the NCC and on broader regulatory reform matters. Consultation assists in the ABCB's role as the regulatory ‘gatekeeper', which includes considering alternatives to regulation, such as education and awareness raising activities.

Objectives

Through consultation, the ABCB aims to:

  • Promote trust between stakeholders and decision-makers through a transparent regulatory decision-making process.
  • 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.

Types of consultation

The ABCB undertakes various types of consultation. The most common of which are Proposals for Change, the Public Comment Draft, Regulation Impact Analysis and WaterMark Technical Specifications.

Proposals for Change

The Proposal for Change process is used to consider technical proposals to change the NCC, which could relate to either Volumes One and Two (the BCA), or Volume Three (the PCA). Technical proposals do not include those which address matters of public policy or for which direction from government is required before a change to the NCC can be considered.

Public Comment Draft

Consultation on proposed NCC changes occurs through the Public Comment Draft.

Regulation Impact Analysis

Costs and benefits are also assessed as part of Regulation Impact Analysis. Regulation Impact Analysis is the methodical assessment of regulatory proposals. The internationally recognised framework to assess proposals, including proposals to amend the NCC is reflected in the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Principles of Best Practice Regulation – A Guide for Ministerial Councils and National Standard Setting Bodies.

WaterMark Technical Specifications

The ABCB is responsible for the review and approval of all existing, new or amended product Specifications for adoption into the WaterMark Scheme. The Scheme Rules provide procedures and requirements for development of a new, or amended Specification. These procedures and requirements include releasing the draft document for public comment. This is to ensure all stakeholders are informed of any proposed Specification development and have the opportunity to provide input prior to finalisation of the document.

More information

For more information or questions regarding ABCB consultation, please submit an enquiry.