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The Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) recently reached an agreement on measures that seek to address the health and safety risks presented by non-conforming building products. The meeting in Melbourne saw the Ministers agree on a range of significant outcomes that they believe will benefit the Australian building and construction industry and the wider community.

The Ministers discussed industry’s concerns about potentially non-conforming building products and materials making their way into the Australian building and construction supply chain and the non-compliant use of building products.

A Working Group of senior officers has been established to finalise strategies for minimising the risks arising out of the failure of building products to conform to relevant laws and regulations and at the point of import. The Working Group will report to the Forum within six months.

Additionally, the ABCB will investigate options for a possible mandatory scheme for high risk building products with life safety implications as well as consider possible amendments to the National Construction Code to provide for fire sprinkler protection on covered balconies of multi-storey buildings.

To address industry’s concerns about the costs and delays arising from unnecessary and inconsistent local government regulation of building activity, the Forum resolved to reduce red tape by removing the opportunity for local planning schemes to exceed the requirements of the National Construction Code. Through these actions, the Ministers renewed their commitment to working collaboratively towards a more efficient and effective regulatory environment for the building and construction industry.