Asbestos and Silica Awareness Briefing

Dates:  Monday 12 October 2020

               Friday 6 November 2020

Time:  9:00am – 11:00am

Location:  Master Builders Association of NSW

                    52 Parramatta Road, Forest Lodge

MCA Members please log in at Member Resources to see Flyer and Workshop Registration Form for further details.

SafeWork NSW – Safe Work Month is about Everyone’s Health and Safety

October is national Safe Work Month – a time to increase focus on improving work health and safety in your workplace, including the wellbeing of your employees.

With over 3.2 million workers in NSW, Safe Work Month provides you with an opportunity to build awareness of work health and safety and encourage discussion about safety at work in your workplace.

Did you know the construction industry is one of NSW’s highest risk industries?  Every year thousands of workers are injured on construction sites as a result of easily preventable incidents.  Some workers lose their lives; others suffer serious and debilitating ill health.  It is important to manage risks associated with construction work.

While construction sites have many risks, they can be easily managed without significant costs to the business.

Help make Health and Safety a Priority on your Worksite

We’re supporting managers within the construction industry this year with the launch of a series of free Construction Site Supervisors Virtual Workshops to show how straightforward managing safety in construction can be.

The first workshop will focus on understanding your obligations for managing WHS at the worksite.  Every month a new module will be released, so register now to reserve your spot or continue to keep checking the SafeWork NSW – Events page.

Working at Heights 

Throughout Safe Work month and beyond, SafeWork Inspectors are targeting working at heights safety in the construction industry.  If you want to find out more about the program and what you can do to make your site safe, simply visit our working at heights resource page.

Help us Spread the Word about Safe Work Month

We’ve developed a communications pack to help you get involved in Safe Work Month.  You can use this pack to share the Safe Work Month message throughout your workplace and to your contacts.

You can find out more about Safe Work Month by visiting our website or if you have any queries relating to the Safe Work Month, please email us at

High Risk Work & Stakeholder Engagements Team

Construction Services Group
SafeWork NSW
p 13 10 50


work at height

Stakeholder Pack PDF file [Download]

Construct NSW and the Office of the Building Commissioner (OBC) Milestones


This is a big week for the Construct NSW and the Office of the Building Commissioner (OBC) with the following milestones arising:

  • Commencement of the RAB Act (Pillar 1),
  • Publication of the Certifier Practice Standard (Pillar 1),
  • Launch of the new learning management system (Pillar 3),
  • Launch of an update to ePlanning so that it manages strata building bonds and OC audits (Pillar 5),
  • An updated Construct NSW website.

Summary information is below for Members:

Developers Must Provide Advance Notice of Class 2 Building Completion 

  • Building developers must provide an expected date that they will apply for an occupation certificate. This notice must be provided at least 6 months in advance and no later than 12 months.
  • If notice is not provided, fines may apply and/or a prohibition order may be made that stops or delays an occupation certificate being issued. Notice can be given through the NSW Planning Portal or online via
  • A transitional period applies to developers with residential apartment buildings due for completion within the first six months of the Act starting 1 September 2020. In these cases, notice must be given within two weeks of the new legislation coming into effect. 

Inspectors Have More Powers

  • The NSW Building Commissioner now has unprecedented powers to regulate and raise the standard of residential buildings in NSW. These powers are part of the OBC’s Construct NSW strategy to protect apartment owners and residents from poor construction.
  • A number of class 2 buildings will be selected for an Occupation Certificate Audit.
  • The audit involves a review of designs and documents (including contracts) and a physical inspection of the building construction. If inspectors find a serious defect, they can enforce action to stop work, order defects to be rectified, and delay the occupation certificate being issued.
  • Without an occupation certificate, the building can’t be occupied, and the sale of apartments can’t be settled, protecting buyers and residents from poor construction.
  • Authorised officers can:
    • Enter building construction sites to do in-depth inspections without notice or permission,
    • Investigate, monitor and enforce compliance, determine if the building has serious defects, take and remove samples, and require records to be produced for inspection,
    • Demolish or open part of the building work if they have grounds to believe there is a serious defect,
  • While construction sites will be selected for audits based on regulatory insights that identify the most risky buildings, random selections will also be made.

   Reporting a Defect

  • All building defects and building-related complaints should always be reported in the first instance to NSW Fair Trading. Individual strata and community lot owners can report their issues here lodge complaints with the Office of Fair Trade.
  • Each complaint will be reviewed and assessed to identify the appropriate response. It is important to note that not every compliant will result in an investigation.
  • Caretakers and others who control access to areas of the common property will be obligated to cooperate with inspectors to enable the inspection to be carried out.

 Developers to Lodge Strata Bonds through the NSW Planning Portal

  • Starting 1 September is the requirement for developers to lodge the 2% strata bond and associated documents via the NSW Planning Portal. This replaces the Strata building bond and inspections scheme (SBBIS) e-Portal, which will remain available for existing projects.
  • The bond provides a fund for the owners corporation for post-construction repairs. Compliance checks will ensure the correct bond is lodged.

 Training Available for People Involved in Audits

  • NSW Government is proactively addressing skills and learning gaps in the construction sector by creating, sponsoring and approving training courses through the a Learning Management System (LMS).
  • The first training course is Understanding Occupation Audits, which is now available. It is recommended for anyone involved in the new occupation certificate audit process – developers, builders, certifiers, suppliers, manufacturers.
  • The module takes approximately 2 hours to complete and is available for a free trial for the first 60 days. After the trial period, the training course will cost $140.
  • Access the Understanding Occupation Audits course by visiting the TAFE NSW website.

 NSW’s First Certifier Practice Standard being Published

  • The Standard will apply to all registered certifiers undertaking certification work for new residential apartment buildings, being class 2 buildings under the Building Code of Australia (BCA) including multi-classified buildings which contain a class 2 part that are approved through the development application process.
  • This Standard is a formal and legal document under section 14 of the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018. Section 14 of this Act provides that a registered certifier’s conditions of registration may require the certifier to carry out certification work in accordance with specified standards or methodologies.
  • The Standard was developed in full consultation with a reference panel that covered all the major relevant areas of the building sector and building regulation. The valuable contribution of all members of the reference panel and the working groups is fully acknowledged.
  • The Standard is intended to serve a number of important purposes:
    • To provide a clear, accessible and specified standard of what is expected of certifiers in undertaking their role and function,
    • To reinforce that the role of the certifier is different from builders and other building practitioners,
    • To make clear the professional obligations and conduct of certifiers as public officials, and
    • To enhance the accountability and responsibility of certifiers.
  • It is expected that the Standard will be a living document and change over time, including being expanded to other classes of buildings.

–> Media Release (NSW Government) – Download

New Bricklaying Qualifications

Brendan Coyle, MCA President, has been working with TAFE and the Government for over 3 years regarding the new Bricklaying Qualifications.

Brendan Coyle is also on the Masonry Structures Committee working with Standards Australia regarding proposed changes to the Elements and Performance Criteria to:

  • CPCCBL3002 Carry Out Masonry Veneer Construction
  • CPCCBL3003 Construct Masonry Structural Systems
  • CPCCBL3003A Carry Out Cavity Brick Construction

All Members – 2020 MCA Annual Awards for Excellence

As you are aware the current business environment is one that hasn’t been experienced in our lifetime.  The business community worldwide is reeling under immense pressure from the unprecedented circumstances arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic and knock on effects.

MCA Members have had to adjust their work practices to remain operational.  While many businesses have work at present the forward outlook later this year looks very uncertain.

Under these circumstances the MCA Executive was consulted and the difficult decision was made to postpone the 2020 Annual Awards Dinner.  The decision was taken reluctantly, though we felt that there was little option considering the health, wellbeing of all involved and commitment under contract for the event.  We only had a small opportunity to respond without incurring significant financial risk and penalties.

We understand the importance of the Awards for Excellence for the Masonry Contractors Membership including the Awards Dinner to all and look forward to the Awards Event in 2021 which will be open to projects completed over the 2-year period.

We value the support of all of our Members and thank you for your ongoing support and understanding.


Brendan Coyle


The Masonry Contractors Association (MCA) advises that due to COVID-19 and Government guidelines currently placed on gatherings of large numbers, regrettably the MCA Breakfast and General Meetings scheduled for:

  • Novotel Brisbane on 29 April 2020 has been postponed until 21 April 2021
  • Novotel Sydney on 10 June 2020 has been postponed until 23 June 2021

Members and Guests will be kept informed by email of the current COVID-19 restrictions with regards to large gatherings.  Once the current Government restrictions have been lifted MCA will be in contact with Members and Guests to advise of the final meeting arrangements.

In the meantime, MCA appreciates your understanding.


MCA Member Resources

Masonry Contractors Association (MCA) are currently adding new resources to the Website for our Members to download.  Please click on the below link and type in your email address and password:

“MCA Excellence in Brick and Blocklaying Awards and Dinner 2019” 

Photos Available here!


Please don’t forget to review Artibus Brick & Block” – Review


Minimum wage increase – make sure you are paying the right rate

New minimum wage increases apply from the first full pay period after 1 July 2019.

Who do the new rates apply to?

Employees who get their pay rates from:

  • the national minimum wage
  • a modern award, or
  • an enterprise agreement (if the base rate is below the modern award rate).

We are here to help

For help understanding your wages obligations in the building and construction industry, visit wages and entitlements page or call on 1800 003 338.

You can also find out more about the new rates through the Pay and Conditions Tool on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.


Australian Apprenticeships

Federal Budget 2019 – AA website fact sheet

What is the Additional Identified Skills Shortage Payment? Find out here

02724 - FB Graphic - White Cement REV-B


METCELL™Class A Water Thickener For a Better Mortar Mix

Brochures are available here: Page 1 (Download)Page 2 (Download)

For further information Tel. 1300 136 547 or or Buy Online


The MCA Executive has reviewed this product and believe it to be of benefit to the industry and would encourage you to utilise this product and the company’s services as they are an MCA Sponsor.

Disclaimer:  The MCA Executive does not warrant or guarantee any product, or service that we endorse.  Persons using such products or services assume responsibility for their use in accordance with current directions of the manufacturer.

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