Advice from Fire and Rescue NSW – cl.144 referrals

Don't delay cl.144 referrals

If a development needs to be referred to Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) under cl.144 of the EP&A Regulation, the certifier must make the referral within seven days of receiving the application for a construction certificate (CC).

The intent of cl.144 is so FRNSW has the opportunity to assess a proposed development and issue an initial fire safety report, which the certifier must consider when determining the CC.

However, FRNSW has advised the Board it often receives cl.144 referrals from certifiers after the relevant building work is substantially complete – sometimes just a week before the entire project is completed.

Multiple CCs

Almost all major developments have multiple CCs issued as the design evolves during construction.

The cl.144 referral requirement and seven-day timeframe applies to each CC application where a referral is required. A certifier must refer all CC applications, not just the first.

To assist FRNSW certifiers should nominate in each cl.144 referral the stage of the development that relates to the CC application.

Late referral attracts a $3,000 penalty notice

Late referral raises concerns over a certifier's professionalism, given the possible risks to the public from inadequate scrutiny of fire safety performance solutions, and the higher risk inherent of the types of developments which are subject to cl.144.

Late referrals may attract a penalty infringement notice or an investigation of the certifier's conduct.

More information