Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 20 September 2018) . . Page.. 3993 ..
(5) Does the EPSD have the power to prosecute builders that do not comply with building codes; if so, how many prosecutions has EPSD undertaken in (a) 2014, (b) 2015, (c) 2016, (d) 2017 and (e) 2018.
(6) Does EPSD have the power to prosecute builders that do not comply with the approved building plans; if so, how many prosecutions has EPSD undertaken in (a) 2014, (b) 2015, (c) 2016, (d) 2017 and (e) 2018.
(7) Is there a requirement for builders to rectify any changes to building plans; if so, how would a constituent go about achieving this.
Mr Ramsay: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
(1) Remedies available to a purchaser would depend on the nature of the changes and whether they affect compliance with the contract for purchase. Purchasers may make a compliant about breaches of building laws or consumer laws to Access Canberra. There may also be civil remedies available for contract breaches.
Building plans and files are managed by the Construction Occupations Registrar (the Registrar) within Access Canberra.
(2) No. Builders are required to build in accordance with approved plans. If the owner has agreed to a change, unless the change is exempt, the owner must apply to the certifier for an amended or new approval before the work is undertaken. When a new approval is issued the building certifier must lodge the approved plans with the Registrar (Access Canberra) within seven days of issuing the approval. There are also processes under the Building Act for the building certifier to notify certain non-compliances with approved building plans.
(3) Notification requirements would depend on the relationship between the builder and the purchaser, and the terms of the purchase contract. Unless the builder has a direct contractual relationship with the purchaser, for example if the builder is also the owner of the land and has contracted for the sale of the building, they would not be responsible for notifying a purchaser of changes to the building plans.
a) If the owner of the land, generally referred to as the developer, has made changes to the building plans, the contract with the purchaser would generally determine whether notification of particular changes is required, and in what time the notification must be made.
b) Where a purchaser is not notified of a change that would affect compliance with the contract they may pursue a civil remedy or may lodge a complaint with Access Canberra, which administers fair trading and consumer law.
(4) Building standards for common walls in units and townhouses are outlined in the National Construction Code. Other laws, such as planning laws, may also apply to common walls.
(5) Since late 2014 under the Administrative Arrangements Access Canberra has responsibility for building and construction licensing regulation. EPSDD has policy responsibilities but does not currently undertake regulatory functions.
EPSDD did not undertake any prosecutions in 2014.