Building reforms

The Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 introduces improved building controls to deliver a safe, high quality built environment.

The new system drives a number of changes to the way that building and construction is undertaken in South Australia.

About the building reforms

These changes are designed to support the implementation of South Australia’s new planning and development system, and to respond to areas of emerging need in the building industry, such as ensuring Building Rules compliance.

These reforms primarily affect building professionals who are responsible for applying South Australia’s Building Rules, namely certifiers, building surveyors and council officers.

The ultimate aim of these changes was to ensure higher standards of assessment and compliance in the building sector to create a safe, durable, high quality built environment for the community.

The new PDI Act affects the building industry in South Australia via seven key reforms:

Roll out of the Accredited Professionals Scheme

The Accredited Professionals Scheme aims to ensure that decision-makers in the development assessment process are appropriately qualified to make key decisions and that a high standard of ethical conduct and professionalism is met.

The Accredited Professionals Scheme became operational on 1 April 2019.

As part of the scheme, all certifiers, surveyors and council officers need to be registered and accredited within defined levels and meet Continuing Professional Development standards.

The new scheme also includes revised procedures for complaints; investigations; compliance and enforcement; and auditing.

Revision of building regulations (to be incorporated into the General Regulations of the PDI Act)

New and updated building regulations have now been prepared and are in effect across the state.

These building regulations seek to support improved performance and accountability in the building system, and address gaps and areas of emerging need in the building sector.

They are captured in the Planning, Development and Infrastructure (General) Regulations 2017.

Conversion of Minister's Specifications to Ministerial Building Standards

The Ministerial Building Standards will be derived from (and replace) existing Minister’s Specifications, but will be amended and consolidated as required to provide clearer building rules related to South Australian variations under the National Construction Code.

These Standards will continue to address issues such as adaptive re-use and maintenance of essential safety provisions.

Find a Ministerial Building Standard

Creation of new council inspection policies

A state-wide set of council inspection policies will be created to foster a more consistent and greater level of compliance across council regions. These will be tailored to meet a range of council requirements. This is a change from the current system whereby councils determine many of their own inspection policies based on set criteria.

Find an inspection policy

Creation of new stand-alone swimming pool regulations

Modernising South Australia’s building system has involved identifying local issues that require stand-alone regulations. This includes swimming pool compliance and safety which has been recognised as a regulatory area requiring improved management in our state.

As such, stand-alone regulations for swimming pools have now been prepared separately to the General Regulations of the PDI Act.

Revised fees and charges to support the new planning system

A revised fee structure has now been prepared for the new planning system to consolidate and simplify existing development fees and ensure that they more accurately reflect the level of services delivered.

The revised fee structure incorporates all fees associated with development assessment in South Australia under the PDI Act, including the Accredited Professionals Scheme, and is now operational in the outback regions of South Australia (land not within council boundaries).

Delivery of the state-wide ePlanning platform for development assessment (including building rules consent)

South Australia’s paper-based planning system will soon migrate to a state-wide ePlanning platform. As part of this change, all development applications across the state will be lodged via the PlanSA portal.

In this future state, the portal will become the ‘one-stop-shop’ for building practitioner registration, building approvals and building inspection records. All Ministerial Building Standards, building regulations and council inspection policies will also be housed on the PlanSA portal.


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