Since the Opal Tower disaster in 2018, a raft of legislative changes have been introduced to dramatically alter the building certification industry. On 1 December 2019, new provisions in the Environmental Planning and Assessment came into effect introducing new powers and responsibilities of certifying authorities.  Further, from 1 July 2020, the new Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018 and the corresponding Building and Development Certifiers Regulation 2020 will both come into effect. This new legislation will abolish the Building Professionals Board and will move the regulation of building certifiers under the control of NSW Fair Trading. Certifiers will no longer be accredited, and instead will be registered, and will be subject to provisions which prohibit them from providing services with respect to design and compliance in cases where they are also acting as the principal certifier. The legislation also introduces a code of conduct for certifiers, where a failure to comply could result in a certifier being fined a maximum penalty of $11,000 per offence. Such changes may result in private certifiers increasing their costs in order to balance the risk of increased liability. This will likely impact developers, especially those with impending large-scale developments who may have not factored this possible increased price into their project feasibilities.

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