Building sites in Cities of Casey, Greater Dandenong and Frankston will be the subject of a multi-regulator compliance blitz next week as part of the Build Aware campaign to increase builder awareness of environment, safety and building regulations.
And for the first time, EPA will use its eye in the sky drone to help direct EPA officers to potential trouble spots.
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 initiative, created by the five regulators to demonstrate the importance in the construction and demolition sector of complying with building, construction, environment, consumer rights and OH&S laws and regulations, in the construction and demolition sector.
The agencies will conduct up to 150 single and joint inspections at building sites across the region.
VBA Director of Enquiries, Inspections and Complaints Peter Cairns 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 Cairns said.
EPA Southern Metro Region Manager Marleen Mathias 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,” she 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
“Having the drone fly over the sites will greatly increase our efficiency in identifying the most at-risk sites.”
EPA officers will also focus on ensuring stormwater runoff is properly managed to avoid contamination of the wider environment such as local waterways.
Consumer Affairs Victoria Director Simon Cohen, stated that CAV inspectors will be looking closely at Domestic Building contracts to ensure that important consumer protections are being adhered to by builders.
“The Build Aware program is a perfect opportunity for regulators to collaborate,” he said. "The event also allows us to increase awareness of important Victorian laws that protect owners, builders and the community."
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