Building sites will be the focus when regulators inspect construction projects in Cities of Melbourne, Port Phillip and Stonnington next week to examine safety and building compliance.
The week-long event will involve site inspections by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA), WorkSafe Victoria, Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV), Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) and Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).
The inspections are part of the Build Aware joint initiative, created by the five regulators to increase awareness in the construction and demolition sector of the importance of complying with building, construction, environment, consumer rights and OH&S laws and regulations.
The agencies will conduct up to 150 single and joint inspections at building sites across the region from 13 – 17 November. They will be preceded by a special Tradies’ Breakfast providing information to local builders and contractors on Friday 10 November.
VBA Director of Enquiries, Inspections and Complaints Murray Smith said representatives from the different agencies will visit construction and demolition sites to provide on-the-spot advice to builders to ensure they understand their legal responsibilities.
“VBA inspectors will also assist builders and owner-builders in fire safety regulations for new builds and retrofits of existing dwellings,” Mr Smith said.
EPA Metro Region Acting Manager Steve Pugh said EPA officers will be looking at the management of construction and demolition waste materials, including asbestos, an area where there’s a lot at stake for the environment.
“Construction and demolition generates a range of industrial waste materials such as concrete, timber, brick, asbestos-containing material, and soil that may be contaminated,” he said.
“Disposing of construction and demolition waste properly means some of it can be recycled. But wrongly identified or illegally dumped waste can pollute the environment and pose a public health risk. EPA officers will be ensuring that sites are identifying and managing wastes at building sites appropriately.”
EPA officers will also focus on ensuring stormwater runoff is properly managed to avoid contamination of the wider environment such as local waterways.
Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria, Simon Cohen, stated that CAV inspectors will be looking at Domestic Building Contracts to make sure important consumer protections for pre-contract information, deposits and progress payments are being adhered to by builders. “The Build Aware program is a perfect opportunity for regulators to work together to deliver joined-up building industry oversight, and increase awareness of important Victorian laws that protect owners, builders and the community,” he said.
The free Tradies’ Breakfast and information session will be at Peters Mitre 10 Caulfield, 95 Normanby Road, Caulfield Vic 3162 on Friday 10 November from 7 am so the building industry can hear from regulators and ask questions about what to expect during the week of inspections.
A social media campaign to alert the community to the Build Aware program has also begun.
For further information on Build Aware, visit consumer.vic.gov.au/buildaware