The Federal Government has taken action to remove key provisions of the Building Code 2016. These changes take effect from 26 July 2022 and have implications for members that tender for and perform federally funded work.  

Removing provisions of the Code is the Government’s first step in maintaining an election promise to abolish the ABCC. The reduced Code severely limits the ABCC’s ability to monitor, regulate and enforce compliance in the building and construction industry.  

Despite almost all provisions of the Code being repealed, the ABCC continues as a regulator in a limited capacity until the Government passes legislation in Parliament.  

Master Builders Australia (MBA) has lobbied the government about these changes and the impacts on our industry. 

An overview of the changes

Below are some of the key provisions that have been repealed. These include the requirements for code covered entities to:

  • comply with the Code and Workplace Relations Management Plans
  • engage subcontractors, or make requests for tender, that comply with the Code
  • have enterprise agreements that comply with the content requirements of the Code
  • implement policies and practices that protect freedom of association. This includes terms around the use of building association logos, mottos and indicia
  • ensure compliance with right of entry laws
  • comply with security of payment requirements of the Code
  • report actual to threatened industrial action to the ABCC

These are only some of the key requirements removed from the code.

For further insight on the changes, please see the instrument amending the Code here


Remaining Code requirements

While the bulk the Code’s requirements have been repealed, there are certain requirements that remain for code covered entities. These include the following:

  • Section 11F – concerning the engagement of non-citizens and non-residents
  • Section 25A – covering the use of domestically sourced and made building materials
  • Section 26(8) – requiring Government agencies to enter contracts for building work with companies that meet Australian standards

These are the three core requirements that remain for code covered entities. All other substantive requirements have been repealed.

To help you better understand the changes, we have compiled some FAQs below.

You can also call our EIR team on (03) 9411 4555 to discuss further.


Can I contact still contact the ABCC?

Yes. You can still contact the ABCC for advice and assistance. 

You can also call the MBV EIR team for advice on (03) 9411 4555.

Does my enterprise agreement still need to be assessed for code compliance?

No. Enterprise agreements are no longer required to be assessed for code compliance.

The content requirements relating to enterprise agreements have been removed from the Code.

You are still required to comply with any requirements stipulated in an enterprise agreement that were included for code compliance purposes. A code compliant enterprise agreement is not affected by the changes to the Code.

Am I required to check if any subcontractors I use are code complaint?

No. The requirements to check subcontractors for code compliance is no longer required.


When will the ABCC be abolished?

It is unclear when the Government will repeal the ABCC and Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act.

However, the Minister has indicated that they intend to include repeal provisions in legislation before the end of 2022.


What will happen to the core functions of the ABCC?

Once abolished, the Government has indicated the following changes:

  • The compliance activities of the ABCC will shift to the Fair Work Ombudsman;
  • WHS matters will be dealt with by the State
  • The Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner and associated Australian Government Accreditation Scheme will be retained and reviewed, with consideration being given to expanding its operation to all areas of Government procurement.

The above changes will only take effect once the ABCC and underpinning legislation are abolished.