Wednesday, 24th February, 2021
By Myles Burt
Staff losses and recruitment troubles at the Broken Hill City Council’s planning department has led to a backlog in construction certificate approvals.
City Council have been advertising for two building surveyor roles and enlisted an external contractor to help clear the backlog, around 68 construction certificates are awaiting assessment.
Leaving local builders to engage private certifiers to have their Construction Certificates (CC’s) and Occupation Certificates (OC’s) completed for current building projects.
City Council said this is not just an issue within Broken Hill, as many regional centres across the state are experiencing the same problem in sourcing specialised personnel with appropriate qualifications and certifications.
Timperio Builders owner Mario Timperio said the delay on construction certificates has affected his business quite a bit.
He has had to seek an private certifier for the construction of his own house after they were left waiting for seven months after applying for a construction certificate back in August, 2020.
Mr Timperio said they’ve had to pull out CC’s and OC’s with other jobs such as a pool build on Blende Street that had been in Council’s hands since July, 2020.
“We’ve actually taken that out of their hands and gone straight to a Mildura, the Anderson Group to get the private certification,” Mr Timperio said.
“That took all about three weeks to get that one and been in Council for 6-7 months.
“I’m not here to rubbish Broken Hill City Council, but they should’ve had something in place prior because we get people ringing.
“It makes us look silly because they think we’re not doing anything and sometimes the owner wants to ring the Council, they upset them and it makes us look bad.”
Mr Timperio said he’s spoken to a couple of other local builders who have also been affected by the CC backlog.
Mr Timperio said he understands the backlog is due to City Council being understaffed and have implemented measures to help relieve the backlog.
However, the loss of a local building surveyor to complete CC’s and OC’s has made it very difficult for local builders.
“It’s frustrating because we’ve got about 14 to 15 staff and what do we say?” Mr Timperio said.
“Our guys are permanent and we like to give them five days’ work so you know they obviously make a living as well.”
Mr Timperio said not only is applying for certificates more efficient through City Council but vastly cost effective.
As going through a private certifier doubles the price of building certificates due the additional accommodation and travel costs associated with paying for a private certifier to overlook a build.
“The consumer has to pay that, and they’re not happy doing that,” Mr Timperio said.
Broken Hill City Council encourage people not to build illegally as doing so can result in fines and further costs gaining building certificate approvals than it ordinarily would.