Federal and state ministers have agreed on significant building regulation reforms to the National Construction Code (NCC).

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry Bob Baldwin said the reforms would ensure the NCC was robust, without strangling the sector with red tape.

“This Government understands the importance of consultation with industry to ensure that regulations for the building sector are both effective and efficient.  Unlike the former Government’s approach of policy on the run, the Coalition Government is working methodically and consistently on reforms to build our productivity after Labor’s debt and deficit disaster,” Mr Baldwin said.

The forum agreed in principle to make the 2015 National Construction Code (NCC) and future editions freely available and online, with details to be finalised in the coming months.

It also agreed to measures that are expected to lead to greater consistency in building regulations across the states and territories, by limiting variations to the NCC.

Mr Baldwin said other reforms were eliminating the NCC’s purchase price (almost $400), improving small business’ access to the NCC , and increasing the number of building and plumbing practitioners able to access using the NCC from 12,000 to around 200,000 across Australia.

 “We shouldn’t be charging our building industry to access these vital building codes, so today we took the first step to removing this burden on the building industry,” Mr Baldwin said.

“This measure alone will significantly reduce red tape for Australia’s building industry, improve the code’s useability and reach, and ensure that Australia’s building and construction industry continues to maintain high standards.

“Agreeing to eliminate costs associated with buying the code will make it more accessible to the industry and mean that the building and construction sector can keep abreast of the latest changes.”

The NCC provides model regulations for buildings and plumbing and is given effect through state and territory legislation. It sets minimum requirements for the design, construction and performance of buildings throughout Australia.

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