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Information for applicants

The Building Technical Panel (BTP) considers technical matters referred to it relating to compliance with the performance provisions of the Building Code of Australia in the National Construction Code series and other specific building rules compliance issues.

The BTP is formed by the State Planning Commission to exercise delegated functions of the Commission under both the Development Act 1993 (Development Act) and the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDI Act).

These delegations require the BTP to provide opinion or for concurrence as part of the building rules assessment process, as set out by legislation.


Concurrence

Concurrence must be issued by the Building Technical Panel before a relevant authority (council or building certifier) can issue building rules consent for proposed building work that:

  • does not meet one or more of the performance requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA);
  • was referred to the fire authority who recommended that building rules consent not be granted, but the relevant authority seeks to grant building rules consent; or
  • was referred to the fire authority who recommended that building rules consent be granted subject to conditions, but the relevant authority does not propose to impose the conditions, or seeks to vary the conditions; or
  • involves the construction of a private bushfire shelter.

Opinion

A relevant authority may seek an opinion from the Building Technical Panel in relation to whether:

  • a proposed development will meet the performance requirements of the BCA; or
  • there is a case for exemption from the access provisions due to unjustifiable hardship under regulation 80A of the Development Regulations 2008 (under the Development Act), or under Ministerial building standard 001 or 006 (under the PDI Act).

An opinion must be sought from the Building Technical Panel by a building certifier in relation to Crown development where:

  • the proposed building work would be at variance with the performance requirements of the BCA.

A relevant authority should have regard for the opinion of the Building Technical Panel where it has been sought, however the ultimate decision to issue or not issue a building rules consent lies with the relevant authority.

Applications should be forwarded to the Executive Officer via postal mail or email:

  • Building Technical Panel
    Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
    GPO Box 1815
    Adelaide SA 5001
  • DPTI.BTP@sa.gov.au

An application fee applies when lodging an application to the Building Technical Panel. The applicable fee is prescribed in Schedule 6 of the Development Regulations and varies depending on the type of referral and the classification of the building.

Current fees are detailed below:

  • Application for concurrence (all classes) - $336.00
  • Application for an opinion (classes 1 and 10) - $527.00
  • Application for an opinion (classes 2 to 9) - $1156.00

Fees can be paid via cheque and posted to the above address or by credit card by contacting Planning Services - phone 1800 752 664 (Option #6).

An application should include the following information to ensure that the Building Technical Panel can deal with the application as expeditiously as possible:

  • Completed application form - the appropriate form should be forwarded with the application, being an:
  • Covering letter – A cover letter should summarise the issue/s and refer to any supporting evidence.
  • Supporting evidence/assessment – the type of supporting evidence required will depend upon the nature of the application. Evidence may include detailed building plans, technical reports, certificates of independent technical experts, trade data, detailed assessment, product samples and/or photographs. Note evidence must be provided to a standard which supports the BTP to exercise its functions effectively.

Matters are heard on an application-by-application basis. A date and time for a meeting to consider an application will be agreed through consultation with the applicant, the Chair and other Panel members. Unless otherwise agreed, meetings will be held at 50 Flinders Street, Adelaide. Meetings are held in private.

The Panel may request a site inspection to better understand a specific issue or particular circumstance in relation to the proposed development. Where this is required, an inspection will be arranged with the applicant and/or relevant authority at a mutually convenient time. It should be noted that a site visit is not a substitute for detailed documentation.

Panel members are not permitted to hear matters in which they have or it may be perceived that they have a conflict of interest.

The applicant (private certifier / council building surveyor) should attend the meeting to discuss their application. The Chair may agree that it is appropriate for others to attend a meeting on behalf of the applicant (eg fire engineer or other consultant), depending on the matter to be considered.

Electronic communication or other telecommunication devices may be considered an acceptable method for the purposes of hearing verbal representations from all parties relevant to the application. The utilisation of electronic communication or other telecommunication devices will be at the discretion of the Chair in consultation with the Department.

Meetings will commence on time, or as soon as a quorum is present. If a quorum is not present within thirty minutes of the commencement time, the Chair may adjourn the hearing to another date and time.

Rules of natural justice prevail – all parties involved in the application are given the opportunity to be heard and to respond to opposing views.

Meetings convened to hear an application will be conducted as follows:

  • The Chair will outline the matter before the Panel and ensure that members understand the matter to be considered, before inviting the applicant to join the meeting.
  • The applicant (and/or relevant authority) will present the case to the Panel and give reasons for seeking an opinion or concurrence from the Panel.
  • Members of the Panel can then ask questions of the applicant to clarify matters pertaining to the case and the applicant may refer some of those questions to their adviser/s.
  • The applicant and any other parties will then retire from the meeting.
  • The Panel will then consider the matter and make its determination.

The Panel may, for the purposes of making a determination, request additional information or clarification during the course of the meeting.

Determinations are made based on the documentation before the Panel and on the basis of a majority decision of the Members present.

Where a request for additional information or clarification occurs, the determination will be deferred until such time as the additional information or clarification has been provided. A second meeting may be necessary to consider any additional information or a determination may be made out-of-session.

Minutes from the Committee meeting are confidential.

Applicants can generally expect to receive the Panel’s determination in writing within 5 (five) working days of the determination being made.

Where an application must be referred to the Building Technical Panel, the statutory time frame in which a decision must be made by the relevant authority is extended by two weeks in accordance with Regulation 41 of the Development Regulations 2008.

No appeal lies against determinations made by the Building Technical Panel in accordance with Section 36 of the Development Act 1993.