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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 15 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5645..


MR BARR (continuing):

  • change the time period for the annual renewal of registration in the ACT to align with renewal periods in New South Wales. This amendment achieves this alignment.
    • The amendments also relate to the procedures for suspension of registration. The amendment applies to situations where the registration of a surveyor is suspended for failure to meet renewal requirements but the surveyor subsequently does comply with these requirements and the suspension is lifted. The amendment ensures any surveys conducted while the registration was suspended are valid upon removal of the suspension.

    • Importantly, this bill also broadens the scope of occupational discipline provisions. It is reasonable to believe that anyone engaging the services of a registered surveyor would expect that professional discipline provisions apply to all survey work performed by that surveyor. However, this is not currently the case. Under the current provisions, negligent or incompetent work on matters relating to building or engineering work, as opposed to the location of boundaries, is not covered by the occupational discipline provisions. For example, a determination of whether floor levels meet specified building design criteria in a building approval is not covered.

    • The bill amends the act to broaden the definition of "survey"to include work relating to more general measurements such as measurements relating to floor levels, road or engineering surveys. The broader definition of "survey"will mean that the occupational discipline regime will apply to this work as well as the more traditional survey work, such as establishing boundaries. The broader definition is consistent with the equivalent New South Wales legislation. It is important to note that this amendment only applies to the grounds for occupational discipline against registered surveyors and does not alter in any way the type of work a surveyor, registered or not registered, is legally entitled to perform.

    • Finally, the bill replaces the title "Chief Surveyor"with "Surveyor General". This change recognises that all state and territory jurisdictions, with the exception of the ACT and Queensland, currently have a position of surveyor general. The role of surveyors general in other jurisdictions is very similar to that of the ACT Chief Surveyor. The change of title is also required as the title of Chief Surveyor is often used to describe the most senior surveyor within an organisation, agency or local government. It is believed that the title of Surveyor General would remove any doubt that the role extends beyond the employing agency.

    The changes to the Surveyors Act created by this bill have been endorsed by the Survey Practice Advisory Committee and the profession has been consulted. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

    Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.

    Construction Occupations Legislation Amendment Bill 2009

    Mr Barr, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.


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