The majority of the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 (NSW) (the Act) commenced on 18 December 2017.

The Act was introduced to address safety risks arising from the use of non-conforming building products in New South Wales, partly in response to the tragic fires at the Lacrosse Tower in Victoria in 2014 and the Grenfell Tower in London in 2017.

The Act provides the Fair Trading Commissioner with the power to ban specified uses of a building product when satisfied on reasonable grounds that the particular use is unsafe.

The use of a building product in a building will be deemed unsafe if there is a safety risk posed by the use of the building product in the building. A safety risk will arise if any occupants of the building are or will likely be at risk of death or serious injury arising from the use of the building product in the building, even if the risk will only arise in certain circumstances or if some other event occurs like a fire.

Follow this link for a more detailed overview of the Act.

What next? No regulations complementing the Act are yet available, nor has the Fair Trading Commissioner issued any building product use bans. It remains to be seen how the new powers will be used and the extent of consultation which will be entered into before a ban is issued.

Schedules 2.1, 2.3[3], 2.4[4] and 2.5 are yet to commence and will come into force upon the commencement of certain sections of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Act 2017 (NSW) and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW).