EXECUTIVE SUMMARYOn 1 March 2010, new legislation introducing a framework for the certification of Council Building Surveyors began. The new legislation establishes qualification and experience standards for all certifiers – whether they work for a Council or in the private sector. From 1 September 2010 all building certification work done by Councils in NSW must be undertaken by accredited certifiers. Councils will need to seek the accreditation of Council Building Certifiers to issue Complying Development Certificates, Construction Certificates, Occupation Certificates and Compliance Certificates and to undertake inspections of building work.Certification work involving subdivision or strata work, or the issue of Compliance Certificates, Complying Development Certificates or other Part 4A certificates not in relation to building work, do not need to be carried out by an accredited person.AUTHOR RECOMMENDATIONTHAT the report be received and noted.FURTHER THAT a further report seeking the necessary recommendation from Council, allowing the applications for accreditation of Council's Building Surveyors to be submitted to the Building Professionals Board, be submitted to Council.REPORT DETAILSIntroductionProvisions of the Building Professionals Amendment Act 2008 (“the BP Amendment Act”) together with amendments made by the Building Professionals Amendment (Accreditation of Council Employees) Regulation 2010 (“the Amending Regulation”) commenced on 1 March 2010.These provisions, together with amendments to the Building Professionals Board’s Accreditation Scheme, will establish a framework for the accreditation of Council employees as “Council accredited certifiers”. Council has until 1 September 2010 to have a sufficient number of Council accredited certifiers available to undertake building certification work. After this date, any building certification work undertaken on behalf of Councils must be undertaken by an accredited certifier. Councils have a number of options to comply with this requirement. They can;• employ Council accredited certifiers;• engage an external accredited certifier from the private sector;• engage an accredited body corporate;• engage a Council accredited certifier from another Council;• obtain an exemption from the Minister to provide certification services; or• a combination of these.Applications for accreditationThe BP Act has been amended to enable employees of a Council to apply to the Board for accreditation. Council employees, once accredited, will be known as “Council accredited certifiers”, defined in the BP Regulation as an accredited certifier whose certificate of accreditation is subject to a condition that the certifier may carry out certification work only as an employee of a Council. An application for accreditation to carry out certification work on behalf of Councils may only be made on the recommendation of a Council. When determining an application for accreditation, or renewal of accreditation, the Board must not refuse to issue or renew the accreditation on certain grounds unless the Board has information that gives it reason to believe that it should refuse the application.Once accredited, Council accredited certifiers can carry out certification work in other Council areas. Council accredited certifiers will not be required to be reassessed by a subsequent employing Council.Accredited Council Building Certifiers can only undertake certification work on behalf of a Council they are unable to carry out any private certification work. However, private accredited certifiers do not need to seek additional accreditation if employed by Council.The Board may suspend or cancel a person’s accreditation to carry out certification work on behalf of a Council if the person has ceased to be employed by a Council.Categories of certificates of accreditation and required training Existing Building Surveying categories A1, A2, A3 (refer to Appendix 1 for details) will apply to Council accredited certifiers. Category A4 for Building Inspectors has been added. All building certification work must be undertaken by an accredited certifier with the appropriate level of accreditation , having regard to any specific conditions of accreditation.Once they are accredited, Council accredited certifiers are required to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date by complying with the Board’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program. The CPD program consists of two elements. Certifiers must:• complete up to two courses each year that are approved by the Board, and• undertake CPD relevant to building surveying as specified by the Board.The first requirement is designed specifically to keep Council accredited certifiers’ knowledge of legislative requirements and their professional practice skills current. The second requirement is designed for Council accredited certifiers to keep their underlying building surveying skills current.The Board can refuse to renew a Council accredited certifier’s accreditation if they have not satisfied the requirements of the program.Record keeping requirementsAmendments to the BP Regulation require certain records to be kept by Councils in relation to persons who carry out certification work on their behalf and in relation to the carrying out of such work:• The date and accreditation number of the certifier,• The date on which the certifier commenced employment or was engaged by Council,• The date on which the certifier ceased employment or to be engaged by Council, and• A brief description of each project in respect to which the certifier carried out certification work on behalf of a Council.Notice to be given by Council of certain mattersCouncils will now be required to give notice to the Board of the date on which a Council accredited certifier commences or ceases employment with the Council where the position involves the carrying out of certification work on behalf of the Council and the accreditation number of the certifier. Such notice is to be provided in writing to the Board within 7 days.Fees and transitional arrangementsThe BP Regulation now sets the fee for an application for a certificate of individual accreditation as a Council accredited certifier, or the annual renewal of accreditation if made before 1 March 2013, at $250.Savings and transitional provisions provide that no application fee will be payable in relation to an application for a certificate of accreditation as a Council accredited certifier in the period from 1 March 2010 up to and including 28 February 2013.A three year transition period from 1 March 2010 provides time for Council Building Certifiers to become accredited using the Council accreditation process. All certificates of accreditation issued to Council accredited certifiers in the transition period will be subject to a condition that the certifier may only carry out certification work as a Council employee. Accreditation awarded in the transition period is valid for work as a Council accredited certifier in any Council.During the transition period Council accredited certifiers can apply for a higher level of accreditation by providing evidence of meeting the qualifications and/or experience required for a higher grade. This is a simple application procedure that must be accompanied by the recommendation of their employing Council.At the end of the transition period, 1 March 2013 there will be only one set of requirements in the Accreditation Scheme applicable to all persons applying for accreditation, whether they are employed in Council or the private sector. Council accredited certifiers accredited in the transition period, will not be required to be assessed against the requirements of the Accreditation Scheme at the end of the transition period. Provided they renew their certificate each year, Council accredited certifiers can continue to work under their certificate of accreditation subject to the prescribed condition that they only carry out certification work on behalf of a Council.Auditing and reviewing of Council Accredited CertifiersUnlike the private sector Council accredited certifiers will now be one of the most over regularised professions within the building industry. Not only will Council accredited certifiers be subject to existing reviews, auditing and disciplinary procedures within the frame work of Councils management, the Department of Local Government, the Ombudsmans office, ICAC, and State and Federal Members of Parliament they will now also be subject to auditing and investigation by the Board.Any person can make a complaint about the professional conduct of a Council certifier under the BP Act and the Board will investigate the complaint unless the Board considers the complaint is trivial, vexatious, misconceived or otherwise lacking in substance. The Board will also conduct audits of the work and activities of Councils.The Board and the Administrative Decisions Tribunal have a range of powers available to discipline an accredited certifier who is found guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct. These include penalty infringement notices along with hefty punitive fines.Current PositionCouncil’s Building Control Unit currently has seven qualified Building Surveyors undertaking certification and Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) services (building inspections). In addition the Director - Planning and Development is a qualified Building Surveyor and Council’s recently appointed Development Compliance Officer would qualify as a trainee Building Surveyor as would one of the Customers Service Officers who is undertaking the Building Surveying course. The Building Control Unit holds 55% to 60% of the market share of certification and PCA services work within the Hurstville LGA, the majority of this is within the Class 1(a) and Class 10 buildings (dwelling houses, swimming pools, garages, etc). The Unit is also responsible for Fire Safety, development referral advice and compliance matters.It is expected all ten positions will be seeking Council’s recommendation to the Board for certification accreditation in Categories A1 x 3, A2 x 4, A3 x 1, A4 x 2. At this stage no significant additional costs are expected to be incurred by Council by the accreditation requirement. The Department of Planning have advised the initial $250 application fee will be waived up until 28 February 2013 although the annual renewal fee of $250 remains. Council’s Building Surveyors already undertake annual professional development training, catered within the existing training program budget, up to a level and at times above that required by the Board. Advice from Council's Manager - Finance is that no added insurance cover costs are likely as Council’s Building Surveyors are already covered within the policy for professional indemnity/public liability.Work is now underway to prepare the required accreditation applications for Council’s Building Surveyors to become Council Accredited Certifiers. A further report with applications and resumes addressing qualifications, practical experience and work history will be submitted to Council seeking the necessary recommendation to allow the applications to be submitted to the Board for determination. COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION - PPETHAT the report be received and noted.FURTHER THAT a further report seeking the necessary recommendation from Council, allowing the applications for accreditation of Council's Building Surveyors to be submitted to the Building Professionals Board, be submitted to Council.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARYCouncil is the main building fire safety regulatory authority. The NSW Fire Brigades also have some, but not all of the powers of Councils to issue orders.Council’s role is to educate the public, including building occupiers and owners. Where there are breaches of fire safety laws Council has a duty to remedy and/or prosecute those breaches. There is a deliberate two tier approach of education and enforcement.This report seeks Council’s endorsement of the continuation of the existing fire safety program.AUTHOR RECOMMENDATIONTHAT the report be received and noted.FURTHER THAT Council supports and endorses the Fire Safety Program as outlined in this report.REPORT DETAILSBACKGROUNDCouncil uses risk management principles to drive the development and enhancement of focused programs. Early intervention can prevent and mitigate the impact of fires and other emergencies, saving lives and reducing damage to property, infrastructure and the environment.Beyond loss of assets, there are undesirable and often catastrophic social and personal losses associated with fires. The Hurstville Local Government Area has a great variety of building form, ranging from the modern mixed residential/commercial buildings to the traditional three storey walk up residential flat buildings, aging industrial warehouses and commercial and retail. The area also accommodates many cultures that often share differing views on the importance of fire safety. Given this, there is a definite need for implementing a successful education program.To address the risks the Fire Safety Program was developed. The Fire Safety Program has now been underway for approximately two years and has been very successful in educating building owners, upgrading existing buildings and maintaining a successful essential services maintenance register. Council has also formed a strong alliance with other regulatory authorities including NSW Police and NSW Fire Brigades.The Fire Safety Program is considered to be operating efficiently and effectively. COUNCIL’S COMMITMENT TO FIRE SAFETYCouncil’s charter, under section 8 of the Local Government Act 1993  provides, as is relevant to fire safety, that:
EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThis report provides an update on progress of the following Strategic Planning Projects:
The Discussion Paper can be downloaded at http://www.metrostrategy.nsw.gov.au 2. Potential Amendments to the Standard Instrument for LEPs - Consultation Draft (March 2010)The Department of Planning has prepared an Options Paper on potential amendments to the Standard Instrument for LEPs, which is on public consultation until 14 May 2010.The feedback the Department has received about how the Standard Instrument can be more effective mainly relates to improving clarity and the need to remove any ambiguity in the Standard Instrument dictionary terms and how they relate to each other. It has also been recognised that there is a need for some new definitions to be included in the dictionary, to ensure Aboriginal heritage does not need to be mapped and its location described in detail for cultural reasons, and to make some changes to clauses which are causing confusion. Some further amendments to ensure consistency with a range of new policies and legislative changes (including State Environmental Planning Policies and amendments to the Heritage Act 1977) are also proposed. The Options Paper presents key issues and where possible, different options to address them.The Options Paper can be downloaded at http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/ under 'What's New'. A Summary Leaflet is attached.3. Draft Model Local Provisions for LEPs - Second RoundThe Department of Planning has also released a second round of model local provisions for Standard Instrument LEPs for consultation until 30 April 2010. They address common topics raised by councils covering the following matters: Minimum lot sizes for dual occupancy, multi dwelling housing and residential flat buildings; Exception to the minimum lot size for certain residential accommodation; Erection of dwelling houses on land in certain rural and environmental protection zones; Active street frontages; Flood planning; Airspace operations and Development in areas subject to aircraft noise. The clauses can be downloaded from the Department's website at:http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/LocalEnvironmentalPlans/ModelLocalProvisions/tabid/250/language/en-US/Default.aspxThe Department advocates that for those Comprehensive LEPs yet to be exhibited, that the model local clauses be adopted 'as is' wherever possible. However it has indicated that the clauses may be altered where appropriate justification is provided and in consultation with the Department's Regional Office.4. Potential Amendments to State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007The State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 was gazetted in December 2007, and commenced on January 1, 2008. The aim was to assist in the efficient delivery of new infrastructure. The SEPP has specific planning provisions for 25 different types of infrastructure, covering areas such as roads, schools, education, hospitals, railways, emergency services, water supply and electricity generation. The Department of Planning convened a meeting between it, relevant state agencies and authorities and Council Planning Directors on 14 April 2010 to outline proposed amendments to the Infrastructure SEPP. The majority of the proposed changes will have little or no impact upon the Hurstville Local Government area. We will be making a short submission with respect to Division 12 of the SEPP relating to parks and other public reserves. There are insufficient exemptions for minor council works in our public reserves. We will be seeking greater exemptions where the works we propose are in accordance with a Plan of Management adopted by Council under the Local Government Act 1993.Council officers will review these documents with a view to making a submission, as required.COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION - PPETHAT the report be received and noted. FURTHER THAT allocation be made in the 2011/2012 budget for the commissioning of a Heritage Study, to be completed within 12 months of gazettal of the Hurstville Comprehensive Local Environmental Plan 2011.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARYTo update reports on Legal Matters Involving Court Action and Limited Consents that are actioned by the Planning and Development Directorate.AUTHOR RECOMMENDATIONTHAT the information be received and noted.REPORT DETAILSThe attached reports are updated for the information of Councillors.COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION - PPETHAT the information be received and noted.