For the last decade, many members of the community have suffered as a result of a number of local governments failing to properly execute their building approvals and compliance roles. Not only has this caused a negative impact on resident’s quality of life but in some instances has put the lives of residents at risk. Proper processes for ensuring improved building compliance are crucial to community / consumer safety and confidence in what the Building Industry delivers - namely, our homes.
WA's building legislation has several areas requiring improvement with the most notable being the state regulators (DMIRS) complete lack of oversight of Local Councils' performance in fulfilling their building obligations honestly and competently. This cannot be allowed to continue as there are already many Western Australians who have suffered unwarranted loss (some > $100,000) and distress as a result of some local councils’ wrongful decisions and their wrongful actions on building approvals, compliance and enforcement.
Examples of this are the collapsed retaining wall in Ellenbrook which not only put lives in danger but many months later is still not repaired due to lack of responsibility taken by builders and local council. Furthermore, Melville council is currently the subject of an external review into an 8-year-old building complaint, while Wanneroo council have received a number of complaints relating to the issuance of non-compliant building approvals. In fact, Wanneroo council issue several hundred retrospective approvals each year, an issue that they are refusing to address.
WA needs building reform to ensure our homes and other structures are built properly in order for all building consumers to be protected and processes need to be implemented so that residents will not have their building concerns simply dismissed by local councils.
Please support our request to Minister Sanderson and the WA Government to make the legislative changes to allow the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety Building and Energy ( DMIRS) to have all the necessary powers of oversight of local council building performance; ability to accept complaints about council building performance; conduct investigations; review decisions, including wrongful retrospective approvals, together with the accompanying powers to enforce remedial / corrective action.