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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 17 November 2011) . . Page.. 5570 ..


The need for a sign has come about because the government has been listening to concerns raised by people in the community, including our emergency services staff. Firstly, community members do not have necessary contact details to discuss what is happening on the building site. This could be about the nature and scope of the work, but it could also be about letting the builder know if something remiss is happening on the site.

Secondly, neighbours sometimes do not know and are surprised when building work commences next door to them and they have no idea what is happening. Lastly, emergency services staff on occasions experience time delays when responding to emergency calls, especially in new estate areas, because often there is no street signage available to assist emergency staff to locate the site of the emergency.

PABLAB No 2 will require a sign to be displayed in two circumstances—when building work is being undertaken and, for certain types of developments, before the building work even commences. A licensed builder will be required to display a sign for the period that building work is being undertaken. Generally, a building site will have a sign on the block from the first day of construction until the last day of construction. However, if building work is done in stages—for example, in the case of large multi-unit developments—the regulation will be able to require the sign to be displayed at relevant stages only. The requirements are at clause 5 and 6 and form the first part of the regulatory framework by amending the Building Act.

Clause 7 inserts new sections 30A and 30B in the Building (General) Regulation and forms the second part of the regulatory framework. New section 30A provides what information the sign must contain and includes the name of the builder and certifier, their licence number and contact number and details about the building work and the building site. This can be the street address if the site is in an existing urban area or the block and section number for sites in new estates. The sign will also need to provide details about the development approval or whether no development approval was required because it was exempt development.

The information to be displayed on the sign about builders and certifiers is already available to the public. Telephone contact numbers for certifiers and the name and licence number of the licensed builders are currently listed on the Planning and Land Authority website for the information of the public. This is authorised by the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004 and the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Regulation. Therefore, these amendments are not compelling licensees to display any information on the sign beyond what is lawfully accessible to the general public on the register.

The new requirement to display a sign at a building site will have several benefits. The sign will inform neighbours and the wider community of the nature of the building work. People will know what is happening at the site and what the outcome will be. The sign will provide contact numbers for people who wish to find out more information. For example, a person could contact the licensed builder for an up-to-date estimate of when the project is likely to be completed. This contact information will also allow neighbours and others to contact the builder or certifier if they feel


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