National Construction Code (NCC) – ACT
Building regulations have traditionally used a ‘classification’ system to separate distinct building types into classes.
The current Building Code of Australia (BCA) has a 16 class system which goes back to at least the 1970’s, is essentially unchanged from this period and is therefore at least 40 years old.
Things were very different in the 1970’s, where theatres used flammable film, smoking was allowed, and venues may well feature tiered fixed row seating with drapes for example.
In recent years, SA, NSW and Victoria have introduced state specific variations/regulation to better support live music venues within this system. In May 2016 The South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure delivered the Small Arts Venue state variation.
With variations also being considered in other states, the case is building for adopting these reforms as a nationally consistent approach.
Read the Live Music Office Live Music Venues and the Building Code of Australia Issues Paper.
Prepared by the Live Music Office in partnership with Sydney Fringe Festival and Music NSW, in September 2017 a Proposal for Change was submitted to the Australian Building Codes Board that proposes that the New South Wales (NSW) and South Australian (SA) variations to the National Construction Code (NCC) definition of Assembly Building, associated NCC definitions of Class 6, as well as the SA Small Arts Venue variations be a matter for consideration to be adopted nationally by all states and territories in the NCC 2019.
Firstly, we advocate for a Small Arts Venue variation (or equivalent) to be introduced for NSW/nationally. Given that this is already in place in SA, we seek to ensure that as an industry we have a nationally consistent approach from the NCC where best practice state variations have been introduced and recognised.
This principle would then apply to the NSW and SA variations to 9b Assembly Building already in place, to be also applied as a consistent national definition.
We appreciate that there would need to be consideration of the detail, given the slight but important differences already in the NSW and SA Assembly Building definitions. We are aware that the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is not responsible for state variations.
We also submit that serious consideration be given to increasing the capacity of the Small Arts Venue precedent from SA for wider application to expand from the current 300m2 to 500m2, acknowledging that many provisions for 300m2 and 500m2 are similar (P.14/15).
Extensive consultation and research has gone into the advocacy and references supporting this submission over a number years.