The Senate Economics References Committee notes that the Building Minister's Forum (BMF) has now released the Assessment of the Effectiveness of Compliance and Enforcement Systems for the Building and Construction Industry across Australia review's terms of reference and its timeline. The committee looks forward to following this review and learning about its outcomes.
The committee also welcomes the recent announcement that the National Construction Code (NCC) would be amended to reflect the Australian Building Codes Board's (ABCB) new comprehensive package of measures for fire safety in high rise buildings. The committee is hopeful that this amendment to the NCC, if delivered in a timely manner, will provide greater clarity and reduce the ambiguity around interpretation which has been identified by stakeholders.
Of particular concern to the committee, and stakeholders, is the long time lag between government responses to the Lacrosse fire in 2014 and any meaningful resolution between governments, the BMF, and the Senior Officers' Group (SOG) on possible steps forward. Furthermore, the committee notes that more disastrous fires have occurred internationally, but Australia has yet to implement any major reforms or communicate any course of action publically. Considering the prevalence of polyethylene (PE) core Aluminium Composite Panels (ACPs) across Australia, the committee considers it paramount that all governments focus attention on this issue before the next disaster occurs.