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From 3 July 2024, the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) (DBPA) and Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 (NSW) (RABA) will apply to the construction of new class 3 and 9c buildings. This article sets out the key changes of which contractors should be aware.


The DBPA and RABA are key components of the NSW Government’s reforms to rebuild public confidence in the building and construction industry. Since 2020, both Acts have applied to buildings that contain a class 2 part (i.e. residential buildings).

Changes from 3 July 2024

Section 2(c) of the Building Legislation Amendment (Building Classes) Regulation 2023 (NSW) amends both Acts so that from 3 July 2024, construction work on buildings assigned:

  • a class 3 (i.e. residential buildings of long term or transient living for several unrelated people such as boarding houses, guest houses and hostels); and
  • a 9c part (i.e. aged care buildings),

will be held to the same standards and regulations as buildings with a class 2 part.

These standards and regulations include:

  1. registration requirements for designers, contractors and engineers;
  2. compliance declarations and designs lodgement on the NSW Planning Portal;
  3. occupation certificate process including when notice(s) have to be given; and
  4. enforcement powers of the Secretary including prohibition orders, stop work orders and building work rectification orders.

Until 31 December 2023, the DBPA provides transitional arrangements in relation to the registration requirements for certain designers, contractors and engineers on projects commenced prior to 3 July 2024. Until 1 July 2024, a grace period also applies:

  • to the application of the DBPA for work involving alternations, additions, repair, renovation or protective treatment of buildings containing a class 3 or 9c part (and where there is no part of the building as class 2); and
  • the need for contractor’s insurance requirements under the DBPA.

However, the RABA does not have any transitional provisions or grace periods. This means that from 3 July 2024 the RABA applies in its full force to buildings containing a class 3 or 9c part.

Key Takeaway

Contractors and designers should familiarise themselves with their obligations under the DBPA and RABA and make the necessary adjustments to their procurement processes to be ready for the changes from 3 July 2023.

If you would like to discuss this article with us further, please contact Brett Vincent, Managing Partner, or Angie Kim, Graduate Lawyer on (02) 9261 5900.