Thursday, May 30, 2024

Former WA council building surveyor fined

A former local government building surveyor has been fined $1,000 for misleading a neighbouring shire when he incorrectly certified building plans for a Narrogin vehicle dealership.

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety’s Building Services Board found that Darryle Baxter, a former employee of the Shire of Cuballing, unintentionally misled the Shire of Narrogin while carrying out building surveying work.

An investigation by Building and Energy found that in March 2015, Mr Baxter provided a certificate of design compliance (CDC) to the Shire of Narrogin as part of a building permit application for the forthcoming dealership work.

However, Mr Baxter had not arranged a review of the CDC by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), which is required when certifying certain building classes including commercial premises.

In November 2017, Mr Baxter provided a second CDC to the Shire, when in fact a different document – a certificate of building compliance – was needed at that time because some work had been completed.

The CDC also approved modifications to the site’s fire hydrants, which were found to be non-compliant with building regulations.

Building and Energy Executive Director, Saj Abdoolakhan said registered building surveyors must work diligently and follow correct processes in light of their important public safety role.

“Errors made by a building surveyor can put people at risk,” he said.

“In this case, the deficient and incorrect certification misled the authority responsible for issuing the building permit. It could have resulted in work that was non-compliant with the applicable building standards, particularly in terms of fire safety.

“Building surveyors employed by permit authorities have the same technical and professional responsibilities as those in the private sector.”

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