WA – HENDRY building surveyors advise that in November 2008 changes to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1960 (the Act) and Building Regulations 1989 (the Regulations) became enforceable in connection with dealing with buildings that have been erected without a Building Licence on behalf of a local government (a Building Surveyor).

This legislation has been overhauled so as to ensure that persons who assess applications for a Building Licence are appropriately skilled and experienced.

Given the increasing complexity of the regulatory and built environments this development has been welcomed by consumers and industry alike.

It is a basic principal of consumer protection that an owner investing in the construction of any building throughout the State receives the same level of expertise and service when a local government is determining whether a building should be approved for construction under a building licence.

For a five (5) year transitional period a person who is appointed to a local government as a building surveyor must hold a certificate of qualification as a Building Surveyor Level 1 or 2, possess a Municipal Building Surveyor Certificate of Qualification (MBSCQ), a Building Surveyor Certificate of Qualification (BSCQ) or a Building Surveyor Technical Certificate (BSTC). Only a Level 1 Certificate holder has the capacity to assess buildings of any floor area and height.

After the transitional period expires only Level 1 and 2 Building Surveyor Certificate holders will be permitted to approve a Building Licence

In most cases officers appointed as Building Surveyors within local governments who do not possess the requisite certificate of qualification at the time the legislation was amended may continue in that role. However, once that position becomes vacant an appropriately certified building surveyor must fulfil that function.

Most local governments within Western Australia must appoint a person to the office of Building Surveyor. Reference to Schedule 2 of the Regulations will identify what parts of any municipality are covered by this legislation.

A local government may only delegate authority to approve a Building Licence and unauthorised building works to a person employed under a contract of service to a local government.

During the transitional period the authorty to approve or refuse to approve a Building Licence or unauthorised building work can only be performed by a person holding the above-named certificates as a Building Surveyor.