2016: Building Amendment (Occupancy Certification) Bill

In March 2016, the Legislative Assembly passed legislation to amend the Building Act 1993.

The amended legislation introduced two new alternative pathways to certification.

The reforms commenced on 1 May 2016.

The three different tiers of occupancy certification will allow for differing levels of compliance with the Building Act and Regulations, which will enhance transparency and confidence in the buildings certification process and encourage a greater level of compliance.

Occupancy certification has the following three levels:

Occupancy permit

This continues to be the highest category of occupancy certification and no changes to this level were made. An occupancy permit continues to be issued by a building certifier where the construction and certification processes have been complied with in full.

Certificate of substantial compliance

This is a new category of occupancy certification and may be issued where building works are carried out under a valid building permit and meet the relevant technical standards at the time, but may have insubstantial variations to the approved plans, or missing documentation and inspections.

Certificate of existence

This is a new category of occupancy certification and may be issued for building works that were completed before commencement of the Bill, when any of the following circumstances apply:

  • the works were unapproved
  • a building permit was in force for the works but they were completed with less than substantial compliance with the building permit or other legislative requirements
  • or a building permit was in force but the works did not meet the relevant technical standards.

Last updated: 31 August 2020

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