There is a crisis in local government building services. Colac-Otway Shire recently decided to cease issuing building permits. Several Councils don’t have a Municipal Building Surveyor.

Councils are ignoring their statutory obligations and appear to be getting away with it.

Stress levels are high, staff turnover is high and the pool of suitably qualified and experienced staff to perform this work is very low and getting lower.

Over this year the ASU has met with the Commissioner for Better Regulation regarding the Building System Review. We have also raised the issues with the Minister for Local Government and the Minister for Planning.

We met again with the Commissioner for Better Regulation earlier this week and have written to her requesting the implementation of the following measures before the end of this year:

  1. An audit of Victorian Council’s to determine whether or not they have a Municipal Building Surveyor on staff and have a plan in place to resource and fund the functions of the Council and the MBS under the Building Act and the regulations, taking into account the local municipal conditions. Such an audit could be conducted by VAGO for independence.
  2. Implement a requirement that Councils establish a Municipal Building Control Plan that responds to the duties, functions and responsibilities of the Council and its MBS taking into account the local conditions.
  3. Put in place measures and consequences at the Ministerial level that reminds Councils of their obligations under the Building Act and the regulations.
  4. Establish and fund a post-graduate course of study for building professionals to qualify and register as Building Surveyors Unlimited.

We will let you know when we get a response.

Please circulate this information to staff in Building Services.

Your membership is your strength, know someone who is not a member? Don’t forget that the ASU recruitment competition is underway until September, $500 is up for grabs for the member who recruits the most new people.

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