Page 1328 - Week 04 - Thursday, 7 April 2016

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lessee giving them 30 working days to remedy the breach. If there is no response to the first warning letter, Access Canberra serves a second warning letter on the lessee giving them a further 15 working days to remedy the breach. Failure to remedy or respond after the expiration of the second warning letter will result in Access Canberra serving a Show Cause Notice on the lessee, giving them 10 working days to respond. Access Canberra can make a Controlled Activity Order after assessing the evidence presented in any response to the Show Cause Notice, or within 20 working days from the date of expiry of the original Show Cause Notice.

When Access Canberra makes a Controlled Activity Order, it is registered on the title to the lease at the Land Titles Office and it opens the avenue to prosecution for failure to comply with the Order. A Controlled Activity Order also opens the way to other processes to address the breach including a Rectification Notice, a Prohibition Notice and an Infringement Notice.

ACTF&R addresses complaints about blocks posing a fire risk within two working days of the initial complaint by sending an inspector to assess the block. If the inspector determines the block is a fire risk, ACTF&R may serve a s106 notice under the Emergencies Act 2004. If a s106 notice fails to have effect, ACTF&R may take action under s107. S108 provides ACTF&R with an additional power to use when the nature of the risk is too great to allow the delay caused by issuing a s106 notice followed by a s107 notice. S108 is an emergency direction that allows an inspector to instruct the owner to remove the risk immediately, or allows the inspector to arrange to remove the risk immediately.

Public health officers will usually conduct an initial inspection within five business days of receiving a complaint about an insanitary condition. Depending on the outcome of the inspection, public health officers can issue an Abatement Notice directing the people causing the insanitary conditions or the occupiers to remedy the situation and take steps to prevent it recurring. If the Abatement Notice is not complied with, the Chief Health Officer can seek an Abatement Order through the ACT Magistrates Court. If the Abatement Order is not complied with, the Health Protection Service can arrange a clean-up.

(4) The Planning and Development Act 2007 policy guidelines are available at:

For fire risk, the powers cited in response to Questions 1 and 3 are applied against an objective test, as viewed by an ACTF&R inspector.

Under the Public Health Act 1997, Public Health Officers need to consider the degree, or potential degree, of public health risk, the number of people affected, and the offensiveness to community health standards resulting from the condition of a property.

(5) See Answer to Question 1.

(6) Neighbouring leaseholders are not consulted unless there is a risk or safety hazard that may affect their property. The leaseholder whom is the subject of a complaint is always consulted.

(7) As the circumstances surrounding each clean-up can be quite different, ranging from minor tidying to removal of significant material, there is no meaningful ‘typical cost’ as such.

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