Remedial Industry updates in NSW – February 2023

From the NSW Sub Branch President | Grahame Vile

Well, 2023 is now in full swing and it’s my pleasure to bring us this first Branch President’s message.

Our new NSW Branch committee members and office bearers are as listed below:

President- Grahame Vile, BAAM Consulting

Vice president – Deborah Lockart, RHM Consultants

Secretary – Adam McGlone, ARDEX Australia

Events coordinator – Daniel Caruana, Danrae Group

Committee members:

Chris Jakovljevic Remedial Building Services; Peter Johnsson ACOR; Mackenzie Rae, Duratec; Helen Kowal SWAAB; Ramiro Garcez Preservation Technologies; Karen Amery SIKA; Chris Stefanovski Hitech Remedial,  Loukas Hatzigeorgiou Structural Building Management, Kouroush Keshvarian BCRC; Dominic Lambert Buildcorp.

With our new and growing committee, we expect to provide more events throughout this year.  Should you have any suggestions for technical or workshop presentations please forward to Dan Caruana and Nicole Raymond at  Other state-focused items, issues or suggestions, please forward to Adam our Secretary, in the first instance via

You will hear more from Deb Lockart and Helen Kowal in our NSW newsletter, but I summarise our most recent activities:

  • Advocacy Group – we have representatives continuing to meet with Fair Trading to work on getting clarification on the not-so-new regulations, with respect to emergency repair works and exempt works.  There remains much confusion in the industry including interpretation of the applicable Acts, and how to resource and document the routine remedial works that we (as an industry) have been carrying out without planning approval for decades.
  • Waterproofing working group – we have our next meeting scheduled for early March with the 1 day Remedial Waterproofing course nearing a final version ready for trial runs (date to be advised).

I warmly welcome Deb and share her bio. She brings great experience to ACRA and the State Sub Branch in particular. Thank you to RHM Consultants for sharing your expertise with us. Deb’s leadership of the Advocacy team has been strong. She and Dan are currently planning an event for Members; the detail is included in this e-newsletter. I thank the Advocacy team who have worked tirelessly representing the remedial industry in the Government consultation, for near two years.

Welcome to Deb Lockart, Vice President | Biography

Deb has worked in the remedial industry since 2017. She is Manager, Risk and Compliance at RHM Consultants. RHM Consultants, ACRA member, is a building and engineering consultancy that primarily services strata scheme Owners Corporations. Deb is responsible for advising the Company on risk mitigation. Her role includes the development of systems and processes to support business growth; legislative compliance; HR; WHS; and communication. The Design and Building Practitioners Act has been a significant focus in her role.


Deb has been a member of the ACRA NSW Sub Branch since October 2021. She is leading the Advocacy team in the ongoing Government-Remedial consultation. She brings with her to this role relevant academic qualifications which complement her broad and substantive experience, including NSW Government, strata, remedial, education, health, audit and compliance, and strong communication skills and experience.

Welcome Deb!

Update from the Vice President | Deb Lockart 

Thank you for my warm welcome, in this role. My work to date with ACRA has focused on the Advocacy regulatory space. I have been especially privileged to have worked with an extraordinary Advocacy team who are passionate about the ‘common good’. It is the ‘common good’ that continues to drive us. Ultimately the end user, the strata owner, will feel the brunt of the regulatory changes. If we can make a difference, then we should be proud.

Before I focus on who we are now, and what we are doing, I acknowledge the fine leadership and passion of Caroline McConnachie. We have a lot to thank Caroline (formally of Max Build) for, and I hope that I live up to her (and your) expectations in taking on the advocacy leadership. Given Caroline is in “Strata land” now, there is much we can do together as we progress our strata-remedial consultation.

Many practitioners have participated in the long consultation process; too many to singly name. The consultation has taken many shapes and forms. As the consultation started to take momentum last year, SWAAB (Helen Kowal) hosted the first remedial Advocacy team Panel Session which included guest Matt Press. Since, we’ve formed various working groups; met with numerous government teams from the Building Commissioner’s office and Customer Service; had many conversations one-on-one. We are contacted regularly by various practitioners and strata managers as they share their experiences. All of these interactions are invaluable and inform our consultation process. Thank you all!

RHM Consultants’ work with the Government in co-presenting the portal training for remedial has been very rewarding. We have more work to do here, and RHM is currently working with Government in planning more training in the DA/CDC sphere.

The work vast and varied; the list long….

Grahame outlined our highest priorities right now. We are moving on multiple fronts; however, for the Advocacy team  the greatest priority is the Government’s determinations of what is exempt work or not. We call this the Remedial Matrix.

At this point as lead of the Advocacy team I acknowledge the Advocacy team: Grahame Vile; Peter Johnsson; Tom MacKay (Diagnostech); Helen Kowal. This group is the hub where all work and multiple working groups generate. We have established an incredible working relationship as volunteers and are truly committed to the common good. Thank you team(s) for your ongoing commitment. I am looking forward to our collective work together throughout 2023.

There is a lot still to do and the Advocacy team will provide more detail at our scheduled event in March. See below for more detail.

Also in this newsletter, Matt Press Executive Director, Compliance & Dispute Resolution – SafeWork, Fair Trading has provided us with a DBP article. He provides clarification in relation to a query from Master Plumbers. As we continue to receive these clarification pieces, we will ensure we include these in our NSW newsletters for all.

For now, back to work and please keep in touch with your experiences, questions and insights.

** REGISTER NOW** Members ONLY event

ACRA NSW – Remedial-Government consultation update  

drinks and networking opportunity

Friday 17 March 2023

4:00pm – 6:30pm

Join the Advocacy Team who will share an update about the Remedial – Government consultation. The DBP has impacted the industry significantly, and we continue to work with Government in navigating the unintended consequences of the DBP and other regulatory requirements.

ACRA’s President Kieran Smith will host the evening.

Panel members: Deborah Lockart; Tom Mackay; Peter Johnsson and Helen Kowal (apologies Grahame Vile).

Please send through your questions prior to our evening. Please email Nicole Raymond

We look forward to seeing you in March.

Noting the demand for this evening, we have limited tickets as follows:

2 per corporate membership

1 per Individual membership

Click here to register 

Two weeks prior to the event, if we have some tickets remaining we will open these up for sale.

Raising awareness of the unintended consequences of the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 on the remedial industry

Helen Kowal SWAAB | NSW Sub Branch, Advocacy team

There are unintended consequences of the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (DBP Act) on remedial practitioners.

Remedial work in NSW performed on class 2 buildings = potential obligations arising under the DBP Act and planning approvals.

Please click here to read more.

From Government

Matt Press has welcomed us to share a recent enquiry from Master Plumbers about the DBP.


“Not sure if this (the DBPA) would affect us in any way, or if it affects the shower rebuilds or re waterproofing etc? Currently, we investigate water leaks and diagnose the issue. If it turns out to be a failed shower base, we then carry out the repairs.”

As waterproofing is considered a building element – what steps would our member be required to take in this circumstance where he is waterproofing as a component of repair works. Obviously he would be required to have the appropriate credentials to do this type of work.


Under clause 13(1)(h) of the Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021 (DBPR), waterproofing repairs for showers in class 2 buildings that cost less than $5,000 are excluded from the being building work under the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (DBPA) and do not require a regulated design and design compliance declaration from a registered design practitioner and a building compliance declaration from a registered building practitioner.

Also waterproofing repairs that comply with all the following criteria under clause 13(1)(b) of the DBPR are excluded from being building work under the DBPA and do not require a regulated design and design compliance declaration from a registered design practitioner and a building compliance declaration from a registered building practitioner:

(b)         work that is waterproofing, but only if—

(i)           the work is carried out as a result of alterations to a bathroom, kitchen, laundry or toilet, and

(ii)          the alterations are carried out as exempt development, and

(iii)         the work, including the agreement to carry out the work, relates only to a single dwelling,

Note:    under clause 13(1)(b) of the DBPR to be excluded from being building work under the DBPA the work must comply with all three criteria specified in (i) and (ii) and (iii).


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