Responsibility for governance of Australia’s most commonly used building environmental performance rating scheme would move from two groups to three under proposed changes with regard to which the administrator of the body responsible for administering the scheme is seeking feedback.

In its latest announcement, the NABERS National Administrator has called for feedback on a consultation paper containing proposals which it says is designed to improve the way in which the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) is governed.

As things stand, NABERS’ governance structure involves a National Steering Committee of governments from each jurisdiction which receives advice from a Stakeholder Advisory Committee of industry representatives.

These two groups advise and make decisions on a range of strategic and technical issues, risks and opportunities associated with the NABERS program.

Going forward, the new governance structure will involve:

  • A Leadership Group, consisting of government and industry representatives which will provide leadership with regard to the program’s strategic direction and decisions on major issues.
  • A Governance Forum, made up of representatives from local, state and federal governments which will advise the leadership group with regard to critical government policy and jurisdiction matters.
  • An Industry Forum made up of representatives from a range of sectors involved with the NABERS program, which will provide the Leadership Group with advice and insight into relevant industry developments, opportunities and stakeholder perspectives.

In order to ensure NABERS can be responsive to the needs of its stakeholders and that the program can be managed effectively, The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the NABERS National Administrator (NA), will also have greater decision-making capabilities over operational matters.

Work which the NA currently performs in terms of engagement with technical working groups will continue unaffected.

In the paper, NA says the proposed changes are a response to an external review undertaken two years earlier which found that the NABERS program had outgrown its governance structure and recommended that governance arrangements be updated in order to make the program more responsive to market opportunities and needs.

Since then, NA says stakeholders have indicated that overarching goals in terms of governance should include a focus on strategic objectives; clear roles, responsibilities and accountabilities; secure funding streams for development and innovations and a focus upon innovation and value delivery.

Feedback on the consultation paper closes on March 10.