In the media

Why a timber shortage could be behind a jump in builder insolvencies
Andrew Clements wishes his truss business could pump out more roofs to keep up with Australia's insatiable appetite for building supplies, but he simply cannot get enough timber (21 June 2021). More...

Builders back moves to boost homeownership
Federal Minister for housing announces new places and price caps for schemes that help first home buyers overcome deposit gap (19 June 2021). More...

HIA report hotspots for building activity
HIA revealed Australia's strongest markets for home building in the 2021 edition of the HIA Population & Residential Building Hotspots Report. The report is aimed at finding employment growth areas targeted towards builders and tradies and identifies hotspots in all states and territories (16 June 2021). More...

Sydney apartments should be permanently monitored for defects, report finds
The independent report into the Skyview towers at Castle Hill was urgently requested by the NSW Building Commissioner after inspectors reported "extensive signs of cracking" in the basement beneath the towers in April (25 June 2021). More...

$5 million dollar boost to building safety standards
The NSW Government has announced an additional $5 million to recruit 30 new building inspectors and auditors to join NSW Fair Trading. Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said the funding will allow the Government to continue with its progress to lift confidence in residential construction (22 June 2021). More...

NSW budget focuses on productivity measures says HIA
The NSW budget draws on the Productivity Commisioner's White Paper, the Intergenerational Report and the review into Infrastructure Contributions in an effort to improve the state's productivity (23 June 2021). More...

NSW developers face infrastructure tax reform
A new "infrastructure contributions system" will be rolled out as part of the annual NSW budget which will directly affect developers building transit or infrastructure-oriented projects in the most populated areas of the state (22 June 2021). More...

Building Commissioner halts five Sydney projects
NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler has fired a warning shot for developers in the state, placing prohibition orders on five apartment projects in Sydney (21 June 2021). More...

Unlicensed builder sentenced to imprisonment, fined $36,000
A Sydney man posing as a builder has been sentenced to imprisonment and fined after contracting to do almost $260,000 in work while he was unlicensed and uninsured, including leaving an elderly man with no bathroom, kitchen or running water for more than a year (18 June 2021). More...

Buyers blocked from moving into Sydney apartment tower after 'extensive signs of cracking' found
The NSW Building Commissioner intervenes to stop an occupation certificate from being issued for a major Sydney residential apartment complex after confirming "extensive signs of cracking" were discovered in its basement (17 June 2021). More...

Heritage building to be moved to make way for Parramatta Powerhouse after court verdict
The NSW government is given the green light to relocate a heritage building to make way for the $915 million Parramatta Powerhouse (16 June 2021). More...

Flammable cladding fixes on track for NSW buildings
Remediation work to remove highly flammable cladding from high-risk buildings in NSW is moving ahead. Fifty strata communities of the 214 eligible residential apartment buildings in the state have registered for the NSW government's three-year program (16 June 2021). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Further, faster, together: Opportunities for collaboration between Germany and Australia on energy efficiency in buildings
Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It found that Germany and Australia have complementary strengths on buildings policy and performance. Click here to read more.

The Advancing Net Zero (ANZ) Status Report 2021
World Green Building Council: 10 June 2021 – highlights leadership action from GBCs and the building and construction sector towards achieving total sector decarbonisation. Click here for more information.

Practice and courts

ABCB consultation open: Involvement of fire authorities in building design
A discussion paper in response to the Building Confidence Report (BCR) is now open for public comment. The BCR Implementation Team has developed a discussion paper seeking views on the issue of fire authority involvement in building design. Responses to questions in the discussion paper are welcomed until 7 July 2021. Read more here.

Consultation open: Guide on evidence of experience for building surveyor registration
A discussion paper in response to the Building Confidence Report is now open for public comment. Responses to questions in the discussion paper are welcomed until 19 July 2021. Read more here.

Consultation on NCC 2022 public comment draft (stage 1) is closing soon
21 June 2021 – consultation on stage 1 of the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 public comment draft is now open. This first stage of consultation seeks comment on all proposed NCC amendments except energy efficiency and condensation proposals that arise from project work. Responses are invited until 2 July 2021. Click here to find out more.

ABCB: Improvements to the code's structure and format will be implemented for NCC 2022
To guide users through the changes, the ABCB has developed a range of supporting resources that will be released in stages leading up to the publication of the NCC 2022 public comment draft.


The draft Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2020
The NSW Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 provisions of the Act will commence on 1 July 2021.

Have your say on changes to how building design and construction is regulated in NSW
The development of supporting regulations is the next step on delivering on this piece of the Government's building reform agenda, with the scheme commencing on 1 July 2021. In response to your feedback, we've drafted a report that explains the changes that were made to the draft regulation. Have your say here.

Conflicts of interest – savings and transitional arrangements
Clause 71 of the regulation introduces savings provisions for certain conflict of interest situations where the certifier was appointed before 1 July 2020 and the work will be completed before 1 July 2022. The provisions relate to council-certified developments and to developments where the certifier gave advice on how to comply with the BCA deemed to satisfy provisions. For all the changes, access the amendment regulation here.

New mandatory standards for building rectification
The standard will be reviewed and updated prior to the 1 July 2021 commencement of the Government's game changing building reform agenda underpinned by the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020. The first Practice Standard will initially apply to certifiers working on residential apartment buildings, where the majority of problems and complaints have been received. The Practice Standard for registered certifiers is available on the Fair Trading NSW website.

NSW Revenue: Land tax build to rent
The NSW Government is introducing a land tax discount for new build-to-rent housing projects until 2040 and a new Housing Diversity SEPP to provide more housing options, greater surety for renters, boost construction and support jobs during the COVID-19 recovery.


Ippolito v Cesco, in the matter of Cesco
BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY – creditor's petition – whether debtor is solvent – whether presentation of creditor's petition is an abuse of process – where debtor obtained orders from the Supreme Court of New South Wales for payment of judgment debt by instalments following presentation of creditor's petition – where debtor's mother prepared to provide financial assistance to debtor to meet instalment payments for judgment debt – where debtor liable to pay applicant's costs once assessed – where no evidence that debtor can meet liability for costs order once assessed – debtor not solvent – no improper collateral purpose in presenting and proceeding on creditor's petition – sequestration order made.
The works undertaken by Mr Cesco on each of the properties are insured in accordance with the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW). The certificates of insurance showing Mr Ippolito as the building owner/beneficiary and Home Warranty Insurance Policy for Residential Building Works (Policy).


AWD Cavallo Investments Pty Ltd v Smokevitch [2021] NSWCATAP 183
(1) Leave to appeal is refused. (2) Appeal dismissed.
CONSUMER LAW – unfair contract terms – terms providing for cancellation of a contract for the supply of a kitchen – whether unfair – whether supplier had provided evidence of amounts to which the contract provided it was entitled. On 14 August 2020 the now-respondents to the appeal (the consumers) filed an application for a money order for $9,035 in relation to the supply and installation of a kitchen by the now-appellant (the supplier).

Taylormade Residential Pty Ltd v Hoare [2021] NSWCATAP 182
APPEAL – costs – Rule 38(2)(b) of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2014 – whether actual costs of rectification in homebuilding dispute should be taken into account when determining amount truly claimed or in dispute – whether costs should have been ordered where substantive proceedings settled – whether proceedings unreasonably conducted by one party – whether conduct of one party prior to the commencement of proceedings relevant to assessment of reasonable conduct – appeal allowed – no order as to costs.
The costs related to home building proceedings commenced by the homeowners with respect. Also relevant is the scheme established by the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) under which remedying defective work.

Heys v Balmain Projects Pty Ltd [2021] NSWCATAP 192
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Home Building Act 1989 – statutory warranty – proceedings for breach – time in which proceedings to be commenced – calculation of time – applicability of section 36 of the Interpretation Act 1987.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – particular administrative bodies – NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal – discretionary decision on practice and procedure – failure to take into account relevant matters.



Bills introduced government – 25 June 2021
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill 2021

Bills assented to
Mutual Recognition (New South Wales) Amendment Act 2021 No 17 – assented to 23 June 2021. For the full text of Bills, and details on the passage of Bills, click here.
Design and Building Practitioners Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2021 (2021-312) – published LW 25 June 2021.
Home Building Amendment (Medical Gas) Regulation 2021 (2021-322) — published LW 25 June 2021

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Building and Development Certifiers Amendment (Cladding) Regulation 2021 (2021-289) – published LW 18 June 2021.

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments – reminder
Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021 (2021-152) – this regulation commences on 1 July 2021 and is required to be published on the NSW legislation website.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.