ABCB Private Bushfires Shelters Consultation RIS release

18 Aug 2010 publication

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) provides nationally consistent, minimum necessary standards for the design and construction of buildings in Australia. The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) on behalf of the Australian Government and State and Territory Governments produces and maintains the BCA.

The ABCB commissioned TheCIE to develop a consultation RIS to assess selected options for introducing provisions for private bushfire shelters in the BCA. The key finding of the consultation RIS is that while the option of voluntary construction guidelines would likely generate some net benefits above a status quo market outcome, the development of performance requirements — to which all newly constructed private bushfire shelters will be subject — will likely overcome a greater number of market failures involved in both the status quo and under voluntary construction guidelines. The introduction of performance requirements was found to return the highest benefit to the economy of the three implementation options considered. In addition, the consultation RIS finds that the construction of private bushfire shelters should remain a private decision and not mandated through planning laws. Such a requirement of mandatory construction would be likely to only affect those residents with a lower likelihood of using the shelter (through, for example, a preferred strategy of leaving early) increasing the net costs of the proposed provisions.

The consultation RIS is currently available for public comment through ABCB.

View report online.