REG-21

Roles and Responsibilities of Various Authorities

NSW  Hendry advises that some clients do not fully understand the definition of various authorities under NSW legislation. The following is a brief explanation of definitions pertaining to:

  • Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EPAA);
  • Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations 2000 (EPAR)
  • Building Professionals Act 2005 (BPA); and
  • Building Professionals Regulation 2007 (BPR)

/ CERTIFYING AUTHORITY
The EPAA empowers two types of certifying authorities who are capable of issuing certificates such as construction certificates, complying development certificates, occupation certificates etc. under Part 4A of the EPAA. These are:

  • Consent authority
  • Accredited certifier

/ CONSENT AUTHORITY
Consent Authority
The term consent authority (in general) has been adopted in the EPAA and the EPAR in reference to NSW local councils and NSW Planning and Environment (NSWP&E).
The Councils are responsible for the approval (or otherwise) of all development applications within their boundaries required to be submitted under the EPAA, with NSWP&E acting as consent authority for all NSW ‘state significant’ development.

/ ACCREDITED CERTIFIERS
Accredited certifiers are those individuals who have been accredited by the Building Professionals Board as A1, A2, or A3 Accredited Certifiers.  Local council building surveyors are also accredited certifiers. Accredited certifiers are able to issue the certificates under the EPAA, e.g. construction/occupation/compliance and complying development certificate.

/ PRINCIPAL CERTIFYING AUTHORITY
Where a Development Consent has been obtained from a consent authority and a subsequent Construction Certificate (CC) has been issued by the consent authority or accredited certifier for a development involving building works, or a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) has been issued for building works, a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) must be appointed under EPAA for the development. The role of the PCA is to ensure that:

  • A CC or CDC has been issued
  • All works are carried out in accordance with an approved development consent or CDC
  • All appropriate licences/ permits and insurances are held
  • All required inspections have been undertaken
  • An occupation certificate is issued on completion of works subject to the building being suitable for occupation in accordance with its classification of use under the BCA or any relevant development consent conditions.

 / SUMMARY
A PCA can only be either the consent authority or an accredited certifier and the PCA cannot be appointed by the builder/contractor.  The PCA can only be appointed by the applicant for the Development Consent or CDC, or the land owner under the EPAA.
A PCA cannot be replaced by another PCA under the BPA and BPR unless agreement is reached between all parties (both PCA’s and the Applicant).  If the agreement of all parties cannot be reached, only the Building Professionals Board upon receipt of an application, may approve replacement of the PCA it is satisfied that it is appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

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