Builders and tradespeople in the Bendigo region will be the first to come under the scrutiny of a new multi-regulator approach to ensure they are complying with the law.
The Victorian Building Authority, WorkSafe Victoria, Consumer Affairs Victoria, Energy Safe Victoria and Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) are launching the Build Aware program aimed at increasing awareness among practitioners and consumers about the importance of being compliant with building, construction, environment, plumbing and OH&S laws and regulations.
Inspectors from different agencies will visit construction and demolition worksites across the Bendigo region, as well as local construction company head offices, from 17-21 October.
Speaking on behalf of all the agencies involved, EPA Chief Executive Officer Nial Finegan said Build Aware was a multi-agency first for the state’s major regulators.
“By pooling resources, the program increases the number of officers able to alert other regulators about potential issues relating to non-compliance,” Mr Finegan said.
“It will highlight the importance of being compliant with building legislation, environment laws and safety regulations and the confidence that brings to consumers who wish to embark on a building project.”
As well as ensuring compliance, inspectors will conduct desktop reviews of permits and provide on-the-spot advice for any compliance questions that may arise.
Bendigo was selected as the first destination for the program because it has a strong construction base and is a leading regional centre. The program will be conducted in other regional centres next year.
An advertising campaign to alert the Bendigo community to the Build Aware program has begun.
VBA: John Rees 03 9618 9316
CAV: Lucy Teal 03 8684 0331
EPA: 03 9695 2704
ESV: Michelle Robertson 0408 634 833
WorkSafe: Peter Flaherty 03 9641 1216
Additional quotes from EPA, attributable to Chief Executive Officer, Nial Finegan:
“EPA is proud to be collaborating with our co-regulators for Build Aware. EPA already has a local presence in the north-west, but this program will expand our reach even further.”
“One of our key focuses will be cracking down on the illegal disposal of construction and demolition waste. This program continues our work in educating and supporting the construction sector with regards to their environmental obligations in a proactive way. If you’re generating, transporting or receiving construction and demolition waste, make sure you manage it responsibly by using only licensed or permitted facilities.”
“It’s estimated more than 350,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste is illegally dumped in Victoria every year, posing risks to our environment, health and economy.”
“Last financial year EPA issued 95 remedial notices to stop or clean up illegally dumped waste across the state, with the most issued in Victoria’s north-west.”