EP&A Reg amendments start today: fire safety reports

2 Oct 2015
Changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 commence today and relate to fire safety reports.

Savings and transitional provisions associated with these changes require some certifying authorities to take action within the next 28 days.

Fire safety reports now discretionary

Under clauses 144 and 152, Fire and Rescue NSW now has discretion whether or not to provide initial and final fire safety reports. This enables Fire and Rescue to focus on buildings that present the highest risk.

Other changes:

  • clause 144 – clarifying the referral process to increase certainty for certifying authorities and others
  • clause 152 – relating to the scope of commentary in a final fire safety report.

Certifying authorities must still refer CC applications

Under clause 144, certifying authorities must still refer construction certificate (CC) applications, for certain large buildings that involve certain kinds of fire safety alternative solutions, to Fire and Rescue for review and comment.

Also unchanged are provisions dealing with triggers for referral, time of referral, documents to be referred, and obligations on certifying authorities when an initial fire safety report is received.

Obligations for certifying authorities to complete within 28 days: savings and transitional provisions

Under savings and transitional provisions, the new processes apply to referrals received by Fire and Rescue on or after the commencement of the regulatory amendments. The new processes also apply to referrals received before the commencement of the amendments, if the CC application has not been determined.

Certifying authorities that have made a referral under clause 144 before commencement of the amendments must notify Fire and Rescue within 28 days of the commencement that they have referred a CC application and whether it has been determined.

Certifying authorities that have not made any such referrals do not need to notify Fire and Rescue.

More information

  • Download the Amending Regulation for more detail of the changes – above is a summary only.
  • Enquiries: contact the Department of Planning and Environment's Information Centre on 1300 305 695.
  • The Department of Planning and Environment will soon issue a Planning Circular to further explain the changes.