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As was expected, the introduction of the new Building Act has caused confusion and disruption to the approvals and the completion of buildings currently under construction. With all change, there is an adjustment period. Builders, architects, designers, building surveyors, Local Government, Water Corporation, and FESA are feeling pressure to adapt to the required changes, and the Building Commission is trying to keep up with the numerous queries resulting from the changes implemented.

The multitude of new forms, and new administrative processes make it easy to look back on the old system and reminisce as to just how easy it was.

There is no quick-fix. The new Act is the fix, the silver bullet that has been discussed and revised and rewritten for over 20 years is here. It won’t take 20 years to get used to it and reap the benefits – WA is the last State in Australia to introduce Private Certification, and it works in the rest of Australia, so give it time, accept the need to make changes, and trust it will bring improvements.

Ideally, the building Act should empower private certifiers to approve new building applications themselves without the need for Council endorsement. The new Act will deliver the shorter building approval timeframes it promised, and provide more certainty for industry and consumers. Without doubt there will need to be some adjustments and builders will get back to doing what they do best – just getting on with building!

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