NSW builders now have free access to the National Construction Code, as part of a joint Federal Government initiative aimed at reducing shoddy work in the building industry, NSW Fair Trading Minister Matthew Mason-Cox and NSW Planning Minister Pru Goward announced today.

“Construction is a key plank of the State’s economy and the NSW Government is continuing to do all it can to ensure we have a strong and compliant industry,” Mr Mason-Cox said.

“From 1 February, all NSW Builders will have access to the National Construction Code (NCC) through a free online service. “Previously, businesses were required to pay almost $400 to get access to the Code.’’

“By making the Code freely accessible, we are encouraging greater compliance and best practice standards throughout the industry, from sole-traders right through to large companies. “Access to the Code is expected to increase from 12,000 registered users to about 200,000 practitioners in the building and plumbing industry.

“This means all builders will now know what the expected standards are, as well as their responsibilities.’’

The free online access initiative follows a decision by Federal and State Ministers at the Australian Building Ministers’ Forum last May to implement a reform package for the building industry aimed reducing the costs of compliance, whilst maintaining health and safety standards.

Minister for Planning Pru Goward said both the NSW and Federal Government worked together on this reform, making the NCC more accessible to increase its reach and help create a more efficient and effective building sector.

“This is about increasing productivity by making information more accessible, not only for big construction companies, but for self-employed tradies and other small businesses in the industry,” Ms Goward said.

Mr Mason-Cox said the NSW Government was committed to constantly improving the standards in the construction industry to ensure appropriate consumer protections were in place, without impeding industry growth and investment through unnecessary red tape and regulation.
“The NSW Government has already undertaken extensive reforms to the building and construction industry, which culminated with the introduction of tougher new Home Building laws earlier this month,’’ Mr Mason-Cox said.
“Among some of the key measures in that package of reforms was the introduction of imprisonment of up to 12 months for builders who are repeat offenders of unlicensed contracting work or don’t have the required insurance.

“Licence eligibility has been tightened to stamp out illegal ‘phoenixing’, which is where a company closes down leaving large unpaid debts, only to re-emerge as a new company trading under a different name.’’

For more information on the National Construction Code, builders and industry participants can visit www.abcb.gov.au

“NSW Fair Trading will continue to closely monitor standards and quality throughout the construction industry,’’ Mr Mason-Cox said.