Francis Logan

Francis Logan

Minister for Energy; Resources; Industry and Enterprise

    Bill to streamline building approvals

    16/11/2005 12:00 AM

    Legislation has been introduced into State Parliament that will allow local authorities to fast track approvals for unauthorised building work.

    Housing and Works Minister Francis Logan said the legislation would remove bottlenecks and streamline approvals processes. It would also remove the need for building owners to initiate a costly and prolonged appeal process.

    Under the existing Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1960, local governments must issue orders to demolish unauthorised work. This forces the owners to apply for a review to the State Administrative Tribunal.

    However, under the amendments contained in this week’s legislation, local governments will be able to issue ‘building approval certificates’ for unauthorised building work when the owner demonstrates that the work complies with all relevant standards and the Building Code of Australia.

    “I expect that by providing an approval of this nature retrospectively, it will allow local governments to be satisfied that a building is safe, complies with all requirements and is included in the building records,” Mr Logan said.

    “The existing law causes considerable administrative burden on the Department of Justice, local governments and members of the public.”

    The Minister said owners or builders who carried out unauthorised work might still be prosecuted. The amending legislation included a number of further disincentives to carrying out unauthorised building work.

    “These will ensure that persons who apply properly for building licences are not in effect subsidising those issued retrospectively with building approval certificates,” he said.

    Mr Logan said the amendments would also enable the State to meet its national competition policy obligations to introduce a national accreditation framework for building surveyors, and to provide greater flexibility in the provision of building certification services.

    “These provisions will allow considerable flexibility for local governments faced with difficulties in engaging qualified people in the current boom conditions,” he said.

    “The amendments will allow building owners and local governments to streamline the approval process by allowing independent building surveyors to certify compliance with building codes.

    “They will also allow for a fully certified proposal to be presented to local government for approval through the issue of a building licence or building approval certificate without further scrutiny.”

    Minister's office - 9222 8950