In 2019 the State Government moved to undertake and review Building Reform in Victoria.
The ASU alongside the VMBSG (Victorian Municipal Building Surveyors Group) provided submissions supporting the reform and outlined the severe underfunding of this critical role within local government.
The outsourcing of large components of Building Departments has left councils and Municipal Building Surveyors completely vulnerable and liable for issues often out of their control.
Building Control is an area where the risks for Government and Councils are at the extreme end of the spectrum.
If Councils and their Municipal Building Surveyors do not identify the hazards and carry out enforcement, critical injuries or deaths can occur.
Non-compliant buildings do catch fire. Non-compliant residential pools result in tragic and often preventable drownings. The fires in the Lacrosse and Neo200 buildings arising from combustible cladding could very well have resulted in fatalities. A Grenfell like fire in Victoria has not been avoided by good management, only by good luck.
Public safety and risk is at an all-time high but council and government funding at an all-time low, this creating unnecessary and dangerous risk to public safety, the ASU is told the situation is dire unless changes are made immediately and funding and reform is provided immediately
The ASU will continue advocating and highlighting the critical shortage of Building Surveyors and the poor state of funding and resourcing of council building departments. This issue was identified and highlighted in 2004 by the then Local Government Minister, Candy Broad. Please follow the link provided to that media release.
We look forward to meeting with DELWP in mid-may and the ASU will continue to advocate alongside the VMBSG to seek immediate reform and further funding.