General FAQs

    How can I have a say in these reforms?

    The Department of Customer Service would love to hear your insights and feedback on the proposed reforms. There are three ways you can have a say: 

    1. Survey 
      You can respond to the survey. This should take about 5-10 minutes to complete.

    1. Submission 
      You can click the “submission” tab on the consultation homepageand complete a submission form. This option is designed for anyone who wants to provide detailed feedback, or if you would like to respond to the questions contained in Regulatory Impact Statements. You can also email us directly at, or send us your submission by mail to: 
      Policy and Strategy, Better Regulation Division 
      Locked Bag 2906 
      LISAROW NSW 2252   

    1. Attend an online Q&A session 
      You can participate in our Q&A information session online. We will regularly update details for the session on the consultation homepage. 

    Will my feedback make a difference?

    Yes, once the consultation has closed, the Department of Customer Service will review all of the feedback and consider if any changes are necessary. Your feedback will ensure that the reforms are fit-for-purpose and make a meaningful difference in the building and construction industry. 

    We will publish the outcomes of consultation on the consultation home page, outlining the feedback received and explaining the rationale for any key changes from the proposals.  

    The changes I have been asking for are not reflected in these reforms

    The NSW Government has a lot of planned reforms in the pipeline. The building and construction reforms are part of the 2020-25 Construct NSW transformation strategy 

    The reform agenda has been significant over the last few years and continues to be. Reforms are timed to meet market needs and respond to emerging issues, and it is important that significant consultation is undertaken to develop and refine each proposal. We want to make sure that the reforms are effective and fit-for-purpose. However, we are always interested in hearing ongoing feedback from stakeholders. 

    For any topics that fall outside of these reforms, please submit your feedback via our Fair Trading website.   

    Why is the Department of Customer Service proposing to change building laws?

    In January 2020, the NSW Government announced its six-pillar Construct NSW transformation strategy to restore public confidence and create a customer-facing building and construction sector by 2025. A central theme of these building reforms is the making of strong and safe buildings and improving customer protections. 

    The government has implemented significant reforms under Construct NSW, focused on creating clear lines of accountability when practitioners deliver substandard work.  

    The Department of Customer Service is consulting on the next stage of reforms, which seek to strengthen consumer protections and enforcement powers, ensure trade practitioners are suitably skilled to carry out their work, and all people are held accountable for the supply of safe building products and building work. 

    How have the proposed reforms been designed?

    The proposed reforms are a product of ongoing research, co-design and consultation over an 18-month period. The Department of Customer Service (the Department) has adopted a co-design approach through targeted engagement with peak industry and consumer representative bodies, NSW Government agencies, local councils and other jurisdictions.  

    As part of this processthe Department has held seven industry roundtables, two focus groups, four written submission processes, one public survey and has regularly engaged with regulation working group and surveyed practitioners onsite. Over 100 organisations across the industry have been represented.  

    This consultation is the next phase of the co-design process. Your thoughts and feedback will help inform our next steps as we continue to shape policy to reform the building and construction industry in NSW. 

    What are the proposed Regulations in this consultation?

    This consultation includes the following proposed Regulations:

    The Building Legislation Amendment (Building Classes) Regulation 2022 will expand existing Acts to ensure that more buildings are safe and secure, that the industry is more customer-focused and that better data is captured throughout the building life cycle. This will be achieved by expanding the application of the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 and the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 to class 3 and 9c buildings.

    The Environmental Planning and Assessment (Development Certification and Fire Safety) Amendment (Fire Safety) Regulation 2022 (Fire Safety Regulation 2022) is intended to improve fire safety in buildings by reducing safety risks, damage to property and the incidence and cost of fire safety defects. 

    What are the key features of the Building Legislation Amendment (Building Classes) Regulation 2022?

    The Building Legislation Amendment (Building Classes) Regulation 2022 (Amendment Regulation) is part of the NSW Government’s reform agenda to restore confidence in the NSW construction sector and improve the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the building and construction industry in NSW.   

    The key features of this Amendment Regulation include:

    • new requirements for developers, designers and builders for class 3 and 9c buildings to ensure building work is compliant with the Building Code of Australia, including: 
      • expanding the registration scheme for designers and builders who must declare their work is compliant with relevant standards to class 3 and 9c buildings
      • requiring developers to provide notice to the Regulator before the completion of building work for these buildings
      • requiring developers to pay the building work levy for these buildings
      • expanding the robust compliance and enforcement powers to intervene, and stop, building work for these buildings
    • expanding the registration scheme for professional engineers carrying out professional engineering work on these buildings.

    What are the key features of the Fire Safety Regulation 2022?

    The Fire Safety Regulation 2022 aims to reduce life safety risks, damage to property and the incidence and cost of fire safety defects.  

    Amongst other things, the proposed Fire Safety Regulation 2022 will improve compliance with requirements for design, certification and maintenance of fire safety measures by:  

    • increasing oversight of performance-based design solutions through enhanced involvement of Fire and Rescue NSW

    • establishing a new category of independent certifier to assess and verify the performance of installed fire safety measures before buildings can be occupied   

    • mandating improved documentation of fire safety measures which is relied on for certification, inspection and maintenance   

    • mandating standards for the maintenance of fire safety measures.  

    When will the reforms commence?

    The Department of Customer Service proposes to bring the various building reforms into effect in phases to allow relevant stakeholders to be adequately prepared for the changes and to help support the industry prepare for the changes. 

    The Regulations will need to be approved by the Minister and presented to the Executive Council for approval by the Governor. This is expected to be in the second half of 2022.  

    The Regulations will commence after they have been published on the NSW legislation website as detailed below.

    Building Legislation Amendment (Building Classes) Regulation 2022 

    The Building Legislation Amendment (Building Classes) Regulation 2022 (Amendment Regulation) will commence on 3 April 2023.

    Fire Safety Regulation 2022  

    The Fire Safety Regulation 2022 will commence on publication on the NSW Legislation website. Some provisions of this regulation will have an extended commencement:  

    • 6 months from publication:  

    • requirement to use the standard Fire Safety Schedule template approved by the Department of Customer Service 

    • 12 months from publication:  

    • requirement to apply Australian Standard 1851-2012 Routine Service of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment 

    • requirement for the building owner to appoint an accredited person(s) as the properly qualified person(s) to assess each fire safety measure for the purpose of the owner issuing the fire safety certificate.