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Council takes aim at Private Certifiers


Georges River Council is lobbying the NSW Government to urgently overhaul the regulation of Private Certifiers across NSW.

At the 28 May Council Meeting, Deputy Mayor Councillor Kathryn Landsberry called for Council to write to the Minister for Planning the Hon. Anthony Roberts MP urging him to proceed with the State Government’s commitment to review the regulation of Private Certifiers.

“Georges River Council now needs to hold the NSW Government to this commitment and ensure that the changes needed are introduced,” she said.

“In late 2014, former Treasury Secretary Michael Lambert conducted a review of the Building Professionals Act 2005, and delivered his findings in 2015.”

“The review identified that there are systemic problems in building regulation across NSW, including a lack of clarity about the roles, responsibilities and accountability of Private Certifiers.”

“The NSW Government then committed to a number of actions to resolve these problems including enhancing the requirements for certifier accreditation.”

Every year Council receives more than one thousand complaints regarding private certifiers. Council receives no funding from the NSW Government to investigate these complaints. The problem is so severe that Council now prioritises only those matters that represent a significant threat to human safety or property.

Councillor Landsberry added that Council will call on the State Government to make necessary legislative amendments to prevent accredited certifiers from having authority to approve dual occupancy, terrace and manor housing developments under the new Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code.

“Only Council Certifiers should be permitted to determine these applications,” she said.

“Council Certifiers have no conflicts of interest and know what is in the best interests of the local community.”

Georges River Council Mayor Kevin Greene echoed Councillor Landsberry’s comments and said it was imperative that the State Government meet its commitment to review the Act.

“It is important that the roles, responsibilities and functions of Private Certifiers are clearly defined and to keep them to account,” he said.

“The introduction of this new Medium Density Housing Code also makes it more important for the State Government to act now for the best interests for our local community.”
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