The Building, Planning and Heritage Legislation Amendment (Administration and Other Matters) Bill 2022 (Vic) (Bill) was introduced in the Victorian Parliament on Tuesday 21 June 2022.

Key Amendments

The Bill proposes the following key amendments to the Building Act 1993 (Vic) (Act):

  • The establishment of a statutory role for the State Building Surveyor (SBS);
  • The appointment of a Building Monitor;
  • The requirement that certain building work is subject to additional inspection by the Municipal Building Surveyor (MBS) prior to the issuance of an occupancy permit; and
  • The requirement to prepare Building Manuals with an application for an occupancy permit.

This article focuses on the establishment of the statutory role for the SBS.

State Building Surveyor

The SBS was established by the Victorian Government as an executive staff member of the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to provide authoritative compliance advice, technical guidance and interpretation of relevant building standards.

Under the proposed new section 206A to the Act, the SBS will be positioned as the primary source of technical expertise on the standards and requirements for building and plumbing works. Under the Bill, the SBS’ function will be expanded to actively encourage improvements to regulatory oversight within the building industry, and support improvement to practices within the building surveying profession.

The functions of the SBS under the Bill’s proposed new section 206B to the Actinclude:

  • Preparing and issuing binding determinations on the interpretation of standards and requirements for building and plumbing works under the Act and regulations;
  • Providing expert technical advice and guidance in relation to building and plumbing work to building surveyors and building practitioners by publishing guidance materials;
  • Advising the Minister in relation to strategic and regulatory issues within the building and plumbing industries;
  • Representing the State and engage with building system regulators on the development and enhance of national building and plumbing standards, requirements and practices;
  • Monitoring councils’ delivery of their building control functions and providing councils with advice and support on the performance of those functions;
  • Monitoring developments and trends relevant to building and plumbing work and standards and report on the performance of the building surveying industry; and
  • Providing training and education on technical matters relating to building and plumbing work to building practitioners including building surveyors.

Notably, the proposed new section 221ZZZG(1) of the Act also provides that it is a ground for disciplinary action if a practitioner who is licensed or registered under Part 12A of the Act contravenes a provision of the Act or regulations including any binding determination of the SBS. 

Notwithstanding the binding nature of SBS determinations, the Building Appeals Board will have jurisdiction to determine any dispute concerning the application or effect of a determination of the SBS.


The Bill is yet to be passed, and the proposed amendments regarding the statutory role of the SBS are part of a broader series of amendments introduced by the Bill. The introduction of a statutory role for the SBS is likely to reshape the regulatory landscape in Victoria. While binding determinations are a welcome initiative for those that think that more clarity is needed, questions around the effective formulation, and challenge of these determinations remain yet to be answered. For example, the Bill presently does not expressly contemplate a process for private determinations from the SBS, which could be a valuable tool for many industry participants. 

Further information / assistance regarding the issues raised in this article is available from the author, Bill Papastergiadis – Melbourne Managing Partner, Nathan Cutts - Partner, Phillip Vassiliadis - Partner or your usual contact at Moray & Agnew.