A national campaign to make the Building Code of Australia (BCA) available online for free has been launched by the Australian Institute of Building (AIB).

The campaign is underpinned by the principle that making the BCA freely available online will increase distribution, thus improving compliance.

Many well-known trade and professional associations have all indicated that levels of compliance with the BCA are high, but could be increased by making the Code freely available online.

This was reflected in submissions to, and the report of, the 2004 Productivity Commission inquiry into building regulation.

“Industry has said it, the Productivity Commission has said it, and privately forward-thinking senior regulators have said it, it’s time to set the BCA free,” said Troy Williams, AIB Chief Executive.

Under the banner of Set The BCA Free, the campaign seeks to highlight awareness of this important issue and encourage regulators to act.

It is a timely campaign given the current review of the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), publishers of the BCA. The current funding framework partly funds the ABCB through proceeds of BCA sales.

“Charging for the BCA violates an important principle, that the law of the land should be free. AIB is pleased to lead the campaign to correct this, working to make the BCA available online for free,” Troy Williams said.

AIB are using the website to highlight the issue, articulate the rationale to make the BCA free and also publish the various expert opinions that have all stated that the building code should be made available online for free.

“Importantly, we are encouraging all users of the BCA to sign-up to the campaign and get involved. The building and construction industry needs to stand up and tell regulators and parliamentarians that charging for legislation such as the BCA is not on,” Troy Williams said.