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					JUNE 2005

                          NAIL BAG

                                            IN THIS ISSUE
                                         • BASIX
                                         • A new shire plan
                                         • Staff profiles
                                         • Occupation certificates
                                         • Mandatory inspections


                                   NAIL BAG
          A MESSAGE FROM                           providing a robust framework to take the
                                                   shire forward. The document will have
           THE DIRECTOR                            to balance often competing pressures
                                                   of growth, environmental and ecological
I have had a very warm welcome to
                                                   considerations, economic and tourism
Wingecarribee Shire from both the people
                                                   impacts and of course social issues. It is
and thankfully the weather, which has
                                                   not an easy task, but we believe that as
made my transition to the job of Director
                                                   current custodians of the shire’s planning
so much easier. I really do appreciate
                                                   process, we can put in place the very best
the way people have treated me and look
                                                   framework to ensure Wingecarribee shire
forward to working closely with the local
                                                   continues to be a great place in which to
industry to achieve the best outcomes for
                                                   live and work for the generations that will
the local community.
                                                                                   Scott Lee
My philosophy is that planning is about
                                                     Director of Environment and Planning
managing change, not trying to avoid it.
Planning is not about pie in the sky ideas
- it is the art of identifying what is possible       ABOUT THE MAN IN THE
and then finding ways to achieve those
things. Development assessment, often a                 DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
contentious part of Council’s operations,
is about securing good outcomes, not               Before taking up an appointment with us,
frustrating development. In fact the DA            Scott was the Manager of Environmental
system is all about facilitating development       Assessment at Sutherland Shire Council.
- after all, almost every application gets         Originally an Oatley local, he knocked over
approved. Council input can value add to           a Bachelor of Town Planning degree at
the outcomes and weed out the occasional           the University of New South Wales, then
‘bad idea’. Our job is about working in            moved up to Grafton City Council as a
partnership with the local community and           town planner. At that time he had his
the industry. It is important not to forget that   eye on a good looking young lady back
the rules we have in place are a reflection         home, so as soon as a job popped up
of general community attitudes. BASIX              at Sutherland Council, he swooped. That
is a good example. Overall people are              good looking young lady was Kamie, so he
expecting better environmental outcomes            ended up with not only a job but a wife. At
and BASIX is one step in delivering those          Sutherland, Scott worked in development
outcomes.                                          control, then strategic planning, before
                                                   being appointed Manager of Environmental
We are kick starting our Local                     Assessment.
Environmental Plan process again after an
in-house review to ensure the document             In his spare time Scott has played soccer
is user friendly, while at the same time           every year since he was six. That means

                                                 for home owners is that ultimately it will
                                                 save them money and the good news for the
                                                 environment is that it has the potential to
                                                 really make a difference.

                                                 Basix aims to reduce water consumption by
                                                 40% and achieve a reduction in greenhouse
                                                 gas emissions initially by 25%, but ultimately

                                                 The way people get a certificate is to slip
                                                 into the website and input the design details
                                                 of their home. The tool shows how the
                                                 proposed design is scoring according to its
he’s had 36 seasons on the trot and              potential to save water and energy. Once
                                                 the design meets the targets, people can
reckons he might still have another year
                                                 print off the certificate and lodge it with their
or two in him. Scott has a young family
                                                 application to Council. This certificate is
and they love it here on the Southern            FREE, but it takes an hour, probably more, to
Highlands. In his spare time he plays            work through.
touch football and “some pretty hit and
miss” golf, as well as enjoying bike riding
and wine. Scott has settled very well into        BASIX IS A FLEXIBLE TOOL
what has traditionally been a challenging         THAT OFFERS A RANGE OF
job indeed, carefully juggling the many
competing priorities to ensure a sustainable       DESIGN CHOICES USING:
future for the Southern Highlands.
                                                  • Insulation
          BACK TO BASIX                           • Window glazing
                                                  • Eaves and window shading
Saving water and energy will save money           • Wastewater for garden use
         and the environment.                     • Light covered roof materials
                                                  • Gas or solar hot water systems
Our Development Control and Customer              • Skylights to bring in natural light
Service staff are currently gearing up for the    • Landscaping that requires less water
introduction of Basix on 1 July 2005.             • Rainwater tanks for use in gardens,
From that date development applications             toilet and laundry
for any new dwelling in the shire will            • Water saving showerheads, taps
have to provide a Basix certificate (building        and dual flush toilets
sustainability index), which is a new planning    • Passive solar design to make the
tool applying across New South Wales to             home warmer in winter and cooler
ensure there is a potential to save both water      in summer.
and energy on new homes. The good news


                            NAIL BAG
    Some of the main points

• To get a BASIX certificate, people
  must show that their proposed home
  will be designed to save energy and
• The BASIX commitments people make
  on the certificate must be clearly
  marked on the design plans.              The message for home builders is,
                                           use the BASIX tool early in the design
• Our staff cannot accept a                process, not at the last minute.
  development application for a new
  dwelling after 1 July without a BASIX
                                                   SOME OTHER
• From 1 October, but perhaps later,             ASPECTS OF BASIX
  BASIX will also apply to additions and
  alterations on existing homes.           • If it is to be a multi-dwelling (e.g
                                             clusters) then only one certificate is
• The certificate is only valid for 3         required for the whole proposal at DA
  months.                                    stage. Not required at all for commercial
• You must include all commitments           developments (at this stage).
  in the final development to get a final
  occupation certificate.                   • The Certificate is only valid for three
• You must enter the postcode of             months from the date of approval by the
  the dwelling and the program will          system. Once it is lodged to Council
  know certain details about rainfall        with a DA then it stays valid BUT
  and indigenous vegetation. This will       if it is lodged at Council after three
  then adjust details when doing your        months from date of issue then it is
  assessment. The application will take      NOT acceptable.
  between 1 – 2 hours to complete.
• BASIX takes into account regional        • If conditions of the DA require change
  issues based on postcode to                of windows or anything that will affect
  compensate for things like climatic        the BASIX certificate as it stands, then
  differences at say Moree and               a new certificate will need to be done for
  Robertson, for example. Problem is         the Construction Certificate. Our staff
  Canyonleigh has the same postcode          will be looking at whatever information
  as Robertson and this issue has been       is “checked” on the customers BASIX
  raised with the State Government in        certificate to ensure it is also marked
  a submission, along with a range of        on their plans. If it is not, then the plans
  other matters.                             will not be accepted.

• It is stressed that once the certificate     been formally accepted yet, but worth
  is accepted by the BASIX website, it        keeping in mind to get people thinking
  cannot be updated - a new certificate        more about the energy efficiency of their
  will need to be done. It can be             homes.
  redone as many times as the applicant
  amends their plans or update their
  energy efficiency of their dwelling until       The BASIX website has an online
  final approval.                                   tutorial and other resources
                                                   to help people complete the
• Plans should be marked with all energy       assessment –
  saving features and landscaping plans            You can also ring the BASIX
  need to be lodged at DA stage if                helpline during business hours
  landscaping is included as a means of                  on 1300 650 908.
  achieving the required standards.

• NatHERS is still available for use. There
  is a section on Thermal Comfort and                WHAT WILL BE THE
  applicants need to complete either the             IMPACT OF BASIX
  simulation method or the deemed
  to comply method. If the simulation         Bruce Taper, the Director of the
  method is used then a NatHERS               Sustainability Unit at the Department
  assessment will be required. The            of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural
  assessor number and their certificate        Resources said complying with BASIX will
  number are required on the application      cost between $3,000 and $9,000 for a
  together with their report.                 dwelling, but it will save residents around
                                              $300 to $600 a year or $5,000 over 10
• A BASIX certificate supersedes DCP           years in water and energy costs. BASIX
  39 (Energy Smart Homes) if it conflicts      also ensures that homes are built to be
  with the DCP. DCP 39 will continue for      cooler in summer and warmer in winter,
  alterations and additions at this stage.    reducing the need for air conditioning and
• A modification to a development consent
  (section 96 application) will require a     But most significantly, BASIX is expected
  new BASIX certificate.                       to save an estimated 287 million litres of
                                              water (15% of Warragamba Dam) and 9.5
There is talk about the Government            million tones of greenhouse gas emissions,
bringing in an Energy Certificate for all      or the equivalent of taking 2.6 million cars
dwelling sales from 2007. This has not        permanently off the road each year.


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Peter Mitchell, Council’s Manager of        A NEW SHIRE PLAN IS
Development Control says BASIX              UNLIKELY UNTIL 2007
should not be an enormous change
for the development industry in the     Wingecarribee Shire Council’s roadmap
shire.                                  for development into the next decade, the
                                        draft Local Environmental Plan, or LEP
“We have been very encouraged by        as it is more commonly known, is now
the enthusiasm of the local industry    back with Council after having been with
in adopting Council’s DCP 39 from       the Department of Infrastructure Planning
when it was introduced four years       and Natural Resources and a range of
ago,” he said, pointing out that many   government agencies since late 2003,
of these requirements roll over         while they undertook a thorough checking
into BASIX, especially following        process. However indications are that
Council’s introduction of mandatory     gazettal of a new shire wide local
water tanks for new dwellings from      environmental plan looks unlikely to occur
December last year.                     until 2007.

“I believe the industry will again      We now have to review all of the
take the initiative with BASIX as the   submissions and decide what amendments
benefits in a cooler climate such        we need to make to the Local
as ours are substantial in cost and     Environmental Plan. This process has
energy savings.”                        already begun, with staff working their
                                        way through these lengthy submissions
                                        to see what amendments are required.
                                        The challenge will be the complexity of
                                        writing a document that not only provides
                                        good planning principles, but is easily
                                        understood by all who have to use it.
                                        Getting the words and format right will
                                        take time, but in the long term, it will be
                                        time very well spent.

                                        As soon as Council has incorporated
                                        the amendments, the LEP will then go
                                        back to the Department of Infrastructure
                                        Planning and Natural Resources with a
                                        request for permission to publicly exhibit
                                        the document. Once this amended draft
                                        plan is approved, Council will place it

on public exhibition for at least 28 days,
but probably longer to give the local           Until the new shire plan is gazetted,
community opportunity to comment before           neither DIPNR nor Council will
formally adopting a new shire plan for          accept spot re-zonings or individual
presentation to the Minister for final            amendments to the current plan.

“It has been a long process and we know
a lot of local property owners are eagerly          WE NEED PROOF OF
awaiting a new shire plan, but the reality is       INSURANCE COVER
this is a complex and important document
that becomes the basis for the future           Home owners warranty must be
development of Wingecarribee Shire,”            provided to Council prior to
said General Manager David McGowan,             commencement of works on the site.
stressing that there is no real shortcut if     Inspections cannot be booked without
the Council is to get a quality product that    proof of insurance being provided to
will serve the Southern Highlands well for      Council.
many years to come.

 TIMELINE                                        2005        2006         2007
 Preparing draft LEP
 (In-house editing / re-drafting)                Jan – Sep
 Community Consultation
 And Council education / discussion              May – Sep
 Council endorsement of draft LEP                Sep - Oct
 DIPNR consider draft LEP                        November – April 2006
 Formal public exhibition of draft LEP                       May - July
 Review and consider submissions received,
 amendments made where necessary                             July – Sep
 Council adopts final draft LEP                               Oct - Nov
 DIPNR reviews final draft LEP                                December – May 2007
 LEP gazetted                                                             June


                                  NAIL BAG
          WHY WE NEED A                            ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS
          NEW SHIRE PLAN                              COMPLIMENT THE
A new Shire wide Local Environmental Plan
                                                         SHIRE PLAN
(LEP) is essential. Council has previously
                                                  The LEP is the primary planning document
recognised this need and as an initial step
                                                  for the Shire. However there are a range of
prepared the Wingecarribee Our Future
                                                  other planning tools, namely Development
Strategic Plan, which was adopted by
                                                  Control Plans (DCP’s), which compliment
Council in October 2002. In preparing
                                                  the LEP. The DCP’s provide more detailed
this plan, Council undertook extensive
                                                  information or control and are necessary
community consultation to ensure that
                                                  documents to ensure strategic directions
it reflected the views and aspirations of
                                                  and broad planning objectives are satisfied.
the Shire residents. It sets the strategic
                                                  They are essential for efficient and effective
directions in the following key areas:
                                                  development assessment and play a
    • Population and Housing
                                                  very important role in explaining to the
    • Environment
                                                  community the desired planning outcomes
    • Agriculture and rural lands
                                                  of Council.
    • Employment and economic
                                                  It is not appropriate to establish a new
    • Business centres
                                                  shire wide LEP without also providing the
    • Tourism
                                                  supporting range of DCP’s. Even though
    • Villages
                                                  Council has in place a large number of
    • Industrial development
                                                  existing DCP’s, many are in need of major
    • Mining and extractive industries
                                                  review and all would require amendment
                                                  in light of any new LEP. Some work is
A new Shire wide LEP will provide the statutory
                                                  currently underway through the preparation
planning framework to guide the Shire’s growth
                                                  of a Residential DCP (being undertaken by
in the directions outlined in the Strategic
                                                  the planning consultancy, Hassells). Other
Plan. The LEP alone however will not deliver
                                                  priority DCP’s would include car parking
the appropriate outcomes and it must be
                                                  (the current plan is outdated); town centre
complimented with a range of Development
                                                  plans to consolidate the work of the master
Control Plans (DCP’s) and policies.
                                                  plan sub committees of Bowral, Moss Vale,
                                                  Mittagong and Bundanoon; subdivision,
       CHANGED DETAILS                            in particular rural residential subdivision;
  If you wish to have us change any of            multiple occupancy development which is
  your details on the NAILBAG mailing             permissible under the current LEP but is
   list, or know anyone who would like            not supported with any particular controls
     to be included just contact Susan            or standards; and finally aged housing
           Combes on 48 680 755                   development to compliment the controls

of the Seniors Living state policy. The                   KEEP THE SOIL
continual review of S94 Contribution Plans
and the emergence of Developer
                                                           ON THE SITE
Agreements have also been noted as high
                                                That is the message from our Environmental
                                                Protection Officer Tracey Poulter.
In addition to DCP’s, Council also intends      “There is a general lack of maintenance of
to maintain the momentum in relation to         existing sediment and erosion controls on
the potential future urban investigation        building and development sites, particularly
zones (Renwick, Braemar, South West             sediment fences and stabilised access
Moss Vale, Willow Vale, Gibbergunyah and        points,” says Tracey, reminding the industry
East Colo Vale).                                that sediment and erosion controls need to
                                                remain in place after the site is handed over
     RESIDENTIAL DCP IS                         to homeowners or tenants until it is suitably
     BEING OVERHAULED                           stabilised by way of landscaping or turfing
                                                so that minimal soil is left exposed.
The long awaited overhaul of the Councils
current policies for Medium Density             Tracey invites builders and developers who
development is currently underway by            have any questions or need some advice
Hassells Planning Consultancy. The policy       to contact her at Council on 48 680 813.
                                                The advice is free and Tracey is also happy
is intended to cover all forms of housing
                                                to arrange on site meetings to help you
and will be a critical document in the
                                                come up with the best sediment control
Councils policy revamp. The policy will
outline restrictions, required styles, design
limitations as well as densities and other
medium density controls such as
                                                     BURNING BUILDERS’
landscaping and carparking.                         WASTE IS PROHIBITED
The process will involve feedback from the      Under New South Wales legislation designed
                                                to minimise air pollution, the burning of
development industry and we therefore
                                                builders’ waste is prohibited anywhere and
seek your input to make the document a
                                                at all times in Wingecarribee Shire, except
more workable policy. This opportunity will     with specific approval from the EPA. Council
occur in the coming months so don’t miss        Rangers may order the extinguishment of
this important chance to tell us what you       polluting fires and fires lit without approval.
think and particularly where the current        They may also issue on the spot fines.
controls can be improved.                       Information about burning off in the open, or
                                                in an incinerator, can be found on Council’s
The contact for the policy is Lalith            website at, or obtained
Mallawarachchi in Councils Strategic            from Council’s Environment and Health staff
Planning Branch.                                on 48680866.


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                 The Manager of Development Control is Peter Mitchell

                                                           BUILDING           DCU DAY
     DISTRICT            TOWN PLANNER ENGINEER            SURVEYOR           (8.30am to
                                                          (inspections)       10.30am)
                            Commercial, industrial,         Detached           By prior
                              medium density and          residential and    appointment
                            subdivision applications       outbuildings         only

         SOUTH           Michael Carpenter   Geoff Wood   Darren Morris        Tuesday
 Moss Vale, Southern                                                           Michael
Villages, Canyonleigh,                                                      Carpenter and
    Burrawang and                                                            Geoff Wood
      Fitzroy Falls

 CENTRAL EAST              Peter Malloy      Peter Nunn John Parkinson       Wednesday
  Bowral, Burradoo,                                                          Peter Malloy
    Kangaloon,                                                              and Peter Nunn

         NORTH            Graeme Hewat       Paul Irwin      Glenn        Thursday
Mittagong, Berrima,                                       McDonald and
                                                                        Graeme Hewat
 New Berrima, High                                        David Herring
                                                                        and Paul Irwin
Range and Northern

             Building Surveyor                                David Herring
                (Shire wide)

           Senior Building Surveyor                           Warren Hodder
                FIRE SAFETY
                  (Shire wide)

                       (For detached residential and outbuildings).

                     SOUTH AND EAST                              Evonne Cole (3 days)
  Moss Vale, Southern Villages, Berrima, New Berrima,           Ross Sampson (2 days)
  Canyonleigh, Burrawang and Fitzroy Falls, Robertson,
              Kangaloon and High Range
                  BOWRAL AND NORTH                                     Robert Hall
                Bowral, Burradoo, Mittagong,
                  and Northern Villages.
               FAST TRACK ASSESSMENT                                  Daniel Cleland
                         (Shire Wide)

      AVAILABILITY OF                              YOU CAN BOOK YOUR
  Our development control professional          We have an after hours booking service
                    staff                       for building inspections.      Phone any
    •    Building Surveyors                     time of the day and night quoting your
    •    Town Planners                          landuse application number, your name,
    •    Development Engineers                  a contact number, the type of inspection,
are available to the public only between        address of the property and the day
the hours of 8.30am and 10am Monday             you would like the inspection. For
to Friday. Appointments must be made            applications made prior to 2002, the files
outside of these times.                         are archived, so please allow us some time
                                                to retrieve the files. If you phone before
It is wise to check the staff involved in DCU   8.15am, the inspection can be booked for
meetings from the table in this NAILBAG.        that day, provided the file is more recent
It is unlikely you will be able to meet one     than 2003. If you phone after 8:15 am the
of these staff on DCU mornings, so it is        inspection will be booked for the following
best to choose another date, or better still    day.
make an appointment.                                                       Phone
                                                                       4868 2857
Before booking an inspection always
                                                                twenty four hours a day
ensure that the work is complete.
                                                                  to make a booking.


                                NAIL BAG
          SOME OF OUR                           to Wingecarribee shire, Tracey, who is
                                                a Terrey Hills local, was a Catchment
          NEWER FACES                           Education Officer with the Coastal
                                                Environment Centre at Narrabeen, doing
Since we last did a NAILBAG there are
                                                some very interesting projects that will be
a few new faces, including our new
                                                very relevant to her environmental levy
Director Scott Lee, who replaced Ray
                                                work with us.
Darney in January, after he took up
an appointment as Director at Byron
                                                Daniel Cleland - Building Surveyor

Tracey Poulter
- Environmental Protection Officer

Tracey is not only doing the traditional
erosion and sediment control work on            He has been an apprentice plumber,
building and development sites, but is          courier, labourer, mechanic, customer
also be getting into other environment          service officer and as assistant manager
levy projects. Apart from the formal            of a supermarket, but Daniel Cleland
qualification of a Bachelor of Applied           now seems destined for a career as
Science (Environmental Science) and a           a health and building surveyor. Before
few other certificates in things like landcare   Daniel started with us in March he was a
and environmental studies, environmental        trainee development assessment officer
auditing (including environmental law) and      with Strathfield Council and is now into
bush regeneration, Tracey has an interest       his final year of studies for a Diploma
in a diverse range of subjects from             in Environmental Health and Building
Australian history and Ned Kelly to a           Surveying.
passion for Russian history. Before coming

Darren Morris - Building Surveyor            Glenn McDonald - Building Surveyor

It is probably fair to say that our new      Glenn joins David Herring and Darren
building surveyor, Darren Morris is a        Morris as the third of our building
bit of a TAFE junkie with a bunch of         surveyors to toss away the tools and
qualifications across a range of topics in    look at building sites from the other side
the building trade. He had also taught at    of the site fence. After quite a few years
TAFE in carpentry, joinery, HSC studies,     in the local building industry, with a clerk
special needs kids and even those World      of works certificate under his belt, he
Skills competitions. Darren is a local,      is now into his diploma course and is
having lived here all his life. He did his   set to become a fully qualified building
apprenticeship in the building game with     surveyor. Actually Glenn hasn’t seen
Alan Eccleston, before specializing in       too much of the tools in the past few
frames and trusses working for a couple      years, having just returned to the district
of the Mittagong firms while getting his      last November after two and a half years
clerk of works certificate and eventually     on the road with his wife Jenny, travelling
going out on his own, building in Sydney     and working their way around Australia.
and locally, including being a building


                              NAIL BAG
Bob Hall - Senior Building Surveyor          Mark Pepping
                                             - Manager Strategic Planning

                                             Our new Strategic Planning Manager, Mark
                                             Pepping began with us last month, replacing
                                             Jeff Lawrence, who took up an appointment
Just like his father, Bob began his local    at Campbelltown City Council last year.
government career as a labourer with         Mark has had an impressive career in
Sydney City Council and is now our senior    strategic planning since beginning at Fairfield
health and building surveyor looking after   Council as a student planner in 1989, where
the assessment unit. In an extensive         coincidentally he worked with Jeff. Since
career spanning quite a few councils         then he has been at Wollondilly Council, then
over the decades Bob’s last stint as a       Blacktown, Strathfield and most recently
                                             Botany Council. His planning philosophy
senior was at Holroyd Council for the
                                             focuses on the importance of community
past 7 years and before that that Camden
                                             and is keen to protect the living conditions
Council. Somewhere in all those years
                                             of people. “There is a need to be able to
he also managed 15 years with the State      grow and a need to manage that growth,” he
Government, working in public transport.     said, mentioning in particular the importance
                                             of ensuring children have a good living
He lives in Bradbury at the moment, but      environment and also that we are able
plans to move to Yerrinbool, where he is     to provide for our ever increasing aging
doing up the old stationmasters residence.   population. Mark is keen to maintain the
Even though his wife is not too keen on      rural look and feel of the shire and places
flying, Bob has a passion for travel and      a lot of importance on the environment.
the two of them have seen a fair chunk of    Among other things he has a keen interest
the planet, particularly the European and    in heritage planning. His wife Janeen is a
Asian parts.                                 High School teacher and they have a young

  WINNERS OF THE 2005                        And whilst talking heritage, Council
                                             currently has a consultant working through
  WINGECARRIBEE SHIRE                        studies of Mittagong and Moss Vale
   HERITAGE AWARDS.                          central residential areas. The aim will
                                             be to place the reports before the Works
As part of the National Trust Heritage       and Town Planning Committee with
Festival, Council announced the 2005         appropriate recommendations about how
Wingecarribee Heritage Awards at a           these areas can be protected, perhaps
function held at Throsby Park in April.      through conservation zones or other
The aim of the competition was to            specific policies.
recognise and promote good design
solutions that ensure the significant                  THE VALUE OF
qualities of heritage buildings and                  BUILDING WORK
conservation areas in the shire are
maintained and enhanced. The Award            It is important to place realistic
serves to encourage excellence in             amounts on the value of building work
design and craftsmanship in retaining         when lodging a landuse application
the original character of the building and    form. Council staff will check the
also promotes community awareness             estimated value placed on applications
                                              and where they are understated,
of our heritage. In making the 2005
                                              additional fees will be requested,
Awards, the committee particularly            delaying     processing     of     the
mentioned The Harp and St Petersburg          application.
as two outstanding examples.

        Category                                 Winning Entry
 Conservation                 Anglewood House, Yean Street Burradoo
 (Over $250,000)
 Conservation                 Berrima Court House
 (Under $250,000)
 Restoration & Additions      “The Harp”, Illawarra Highway, Sutton Forest
 Restoration & Additions      (i) St.Petersburg, 11 Arthur Street Moss Vale
 Residential                  (ii) ‘Halcyon’, Exeter Road Exeter - Highly Commended
 Traditional Tradesman        Greg Dark


                                  NAIL BAG
      THE CERTIFICATION                               MANDATORY CRITICAL
           SYSTEM                                      STAGE INSPECTIONS
All participants in the certification system                ARE VITAL
and that includes consent authorities,
                                                  Mandatory critical stage inspections are part
certifying authorities, builders, developers,
                                                  of the process of ensuring that acceptable
applicants and owners, collectively bear
                                                  standards of construction have been met.
responsibility for making it work well. The       As such they are required for all classes
Environmental Planning and Assessment             of buildings. The PCA may rely on other
Amendment (Quality of Construction) Act           certifiers to assist in these inspections, but
2003 and associated Regulations has both          must undertake the final inspection.
clarified and tightened the roles and
responsibilities of Principal Certifying          The appointed PCA (Council or private
Authorities (PCA) and accredited certifiers to     certifiers) must carry out inspections on the
ensure they act honestly, competently and         following stages of construction:
in the public interest. The builder, developer,         1. pier holes
applicant and owner must also abide by                  2. footings/slab steel
the development consent and construction                3. frame
certificate, or the complying development                4. wet areas
certificate.                                             5. stormwater connection
                                                        6. final inspection.
CAN YOU REPLACE THE PCA?                          It is also stressed that the Council and only
The PCA is the person appointed by the            the Council must carry out inspections
applicant or owner to conduct inspections and     on the internal drainage, water plumbing,
monitor the construction site for compliance.     external drainage, stormwater and a final
The PCA can only be replaced with the             on all drainage matters.
approval of the relevant authority - the
accreditation body, the consent authority or      The PCA may accept compliance certificates
the council. This process ensures a clear         from an accredited certifier for specific building
and formal transfer of responsibilities from      works to certify that the specific work has
one PCA to the other.                             been completed in accordance with the plans
                                                  and specifications. The PCA may also accept
                                                  an engineer’s certificate for specified work as
   PCA AND PRINCIPAL                              an adjunct or extra to their own inspection, but
                                                  not as an alternative to doing an inspection
  CONTRACTOR MUST BE                              themselves.
                                                  In other words the PCA must physically
The PCA and principal contractor must erect       inspect each of the mandatory critical
a sign or signs on the development site           stage inspections. If not, the PCA will be
providing their details and contact telephone     unable to issue an occupation certificate
number.                                           for the development works.

  WET AREA INSPECTIONS                             components of the water proofing
                                                 • Ensure that water stops to showers
All applications received since 31 July
                                                   extend a minimum of 5mm above the
2004 are required to have a mandatory
                                                   finished surface of the finished floor.
inspection of wet areas prior to the
waterproofing material being covered.
                                                 • Ensure that the water stop at the
Council will still require a certificate from
                                                   bathroom door is sealed to the floor and
the installer. This certificate should indicate
                                                   extends to finish flush with the finished
the name of the product or products
                                                   floor surface.
used and that they have been applied
in accordance with the manufacturers
                                                 • Ensure that adequate water proofing is
instructions and compliance with AS3740.
                                                   provided to tap bodies, shower, bath
                                                   and spout outlets.
A number of common faults have been
noticed on sites since the mandatory
                                                 • Ensure that water proofing around the
inspection of wet areas has commenced
                                                   baths and basins etc is in accordance
and care needs to be taken by contractors
                                                   with the standards.
to be certain that adequate preparation
occurs prior waterproofing of wet areas.
                                                 Often when inspections are undertaken we
Some things to keep in mind include:
                                                 find the waterproofing has been damaged
                                                 by other trades prior to the fixing of tiles.
• Ensure that floor sheeting is adequately
                                                 Care should be taken to avoid this sort
  fixed using countersunk fasteners, that
                                                 of damage (which in most cases voids
  finish flush and not proud of the sheet
                                                 installers warranty) by limiting traffic to
  surface. Hex head self drill screws are
                                                 wet areas once waterproofing has been
  not satisfactory.
                                                 completed prior to the fixing of tiles.
• Ensure that a bond breaker is installed
  at the junction of all floor sheets and         A wet area is defined as an area in
  over fixings.                                   a building supplied with water from
                                                 a water supply system and includes
• Ensure that all flanges to wastes are           bathrooms, showers, laundries, sanitary
  recessed so that they finish flush with          compartments and the like.
  the face of the floor sheeting.
                                                 All products used in the waterproofing
• Ensure that the appropriate primers            process must be approved for the
  are used to achieve an effective bond          purpose and have appraisal certification
  between    membrane      and     other         from the CSIRO or BRANZ.


                              NAIL BAG
         CLARIFYING THE                      revokes any earlier occupation certificates
          MYSTERIES OF
           OCCUPATION                        Are occupation certificates required
          CERTIFICATES                       for all buildings and building work?
                                             An occupation certificate is needed for
An occupation certificate issued under the    any new building work, or change of use
Environmental Planning and Assessment        of a building, that has a development
Act allows a person to occupy and use a      consent or a complying development
new building, or change use of an existing   certificate.      Occupation certificates
building (this means a change of use         are also not required for buildings that
resulting in a chance of Building Code of    are exempt development or development
Australia classification.) An occupation      which does not need development
certificate verifies that the principal        consent. There are other circumstances
certifying authority is satisfied that        where occupation certificates are not
the building is suitable to occupy or        required and these are outlined in the
use in terms of the Building Code of         Environmental Planning and Assessment
Australia.                                   Regulation 2000. To legally use and
                                             occupy a building you first need to get
What types of occupation certificate          an interim and, or a final occupation
are there?                                   certificate and penalties do apply if one is
There are two types:                         not obtained.
• a final occupation certificate –
   this can only be issued when              Who can issue an occupation
   all conditions and requirements are       certificate?
   complied with.                            An occupation certificate is issued by the
• An interim occupation certificate           nominated Principal Certifying Authority
   – this certificate is issued when          – be it Council or a suitably accredited
   pre conditions for development            private certifier. You should call and
   occupation have been complied with        discuss with the Council Building Surveyor
   and the building is considered safe to    that has been handling your project about
   occupy. There may be minor works          the progress of your building works and
   outstanding.                              book in your final inspection in advance
                                             of when people are expecting to move
If an interim certificate is issued, a final   in. It can be a bit embarrassing to have
occupation certificate is still required      hiccups with Council the day before the
when all building work or change of use      building is scheduled for handover to the
is complete. A final occupation certificate    owners.

 A HANDY CHECKLIST FOR                           ABOUT THE WORKS AND
    FINAL INSPECTION                             PLANNING COMMITTEE
• Read back over the conditions of             A Works and Planning committee was
  development consent and other                formed following the election of the current
  approvals before you ring Council            Council in March 2004.          This peak
  to book the inspection. There may            committee of Council is charged with the
  be something obvious that has been           responsibility of considering most planning
  overlooked.                                  applications that are not dealt with by staff
                                               under delegated authority. The committee
• Make sure you have all the required          operates on the following schedule:
  certificates for the various works carried
  out on the building. These can include       • Meets on the first Wednesday of
  wet area treatments, smoke detectors,          the month from 9am in the Council
  engineering works, termite control and         Chambers
  installation of energy or water saving       • Inspects sites for the meeting on the
  fittings or works.                              Monday prior the meeting
                                               • The agenda is available on the Friday
• Clean up the site and ensure silt fences       afternoon before the meeting.
  remain in place where the site is not        • One representative from both the
  grassed and landscaped.                        applicants and objectors may be
                                                 invited to make a presentation at the
• A quick once over of the building with         meeting, with Council attempting to give
  the consent conditions fresh in your           enough prior notice for this to occur.
  mind is a good idea and may pick up          • Only the committee members visit
  some items for listing and rectification.       the sites on the Monday inspection
• It is wise to ensure all required previous
  inspections have been booked and             Councillors on the committee include
  signed off by Council. A good idea is        Nick Campbell-Jones (Chairman), Malcolm
  to keep a log of Council inspections and     Murray, Duncan Gair, Phil Yeo, Larry
  results for your own records.                Whipper and Paul Tuddenham, with Jim
                                               Clark and May King the alternative
For full details about occupation              delegates.
certificates you can go into the
Department of Infrastructure, Planning         The community members are Cliff Roberts,
and Natural Resources website at               Greg Searle and Peter Gill. and search their
circular PS 05-001 issued on 22 April


                                  NAIL BAG
     NEW BROCHURE                                 • A project overseen by the Master Builders
                                                    Association (MBA), Asbestos in Housing
 AVAILABLE ON ASBESTOS                              to gain a common understanding of the
        DISPOSAL                                    current and planned regime of permits
                                                    or council regulations regarding the way
The NSW Department of Environment and               in which asbestos is dealt with during
Conservation), with the assistance of               building work in the residential housing
WorkCover NSW, has produced a new                   sector in NSW.
brochure for home renovators and builders
on how to safely dispose of asbestos waste          A COUPLE OF TIPS FOR
from homes.
                                                   GETTING PLANS TO MOVE
The brochure, ‘Safely disposing of asbestos           QUICKLY THROUGH
waste from your home’, aims to ensure those               COUNCIL
people responsible for asbestos disposal
understand the correct procedures so that
                                                  • Provide all of the correct information
the community and the environment are
                                                    up front when lodging your application
                                                  • Supply contours on site plans. They are
                                                    needed on applications for new dwellings,
Information regarding the safe handling and
                                                    buildings in the vicinity of ridgelines
disposal of asbestos can be found on the
                                                    or flood liable locations, subdivisions,
NSW Government website
                                                    medium density, commercial and industrial
                                                  • For any DA involving erection of a building,
The Local Government and Shires
                                                    one copy of an A4 site plan and
Associations are also involved in three
                                                    elevations should be submitted at the
initiatives aimed at reducing potential
                                                    time of lodgement. We need this for
exposure to asbestos. These are:
                                                    neighbour notification purposes.
• The NSW Health/DEC project to prepare
                                                  • Check that your proposal complies with
    educative material for home renovators
                                                    all Council policies, the Building Code
    (this relates to asbestos but also other
                                                    of Australia and Australian Standards
    potentially harmful materials such as
                                                    before lodgement.
                                                  • A total of four full sets of plans are
                                                    required, along with at least three sets
• The Workcover project to reduce asbestos
                                                    of statements of Environmental Effects
  exposure at worksites and exposure to
                                                    and specific reports, for example, bushfire,
  the community surrounding worksites,
                                                    heritage, water cycle management study
  including home renovations where
  employment occurs. The aim of this project
                                                  • If your application is integrated
  is to clarify the roles of various regulatory
                                                    development you require one additional
  bodies including Workcover, local councils,
                                                    set of plans and reports for each time it is
  the DEC etc
                                                    integrated development.

        TALES FROM THE                               CONSENT CONDITIONS
          TOOLSHED                                   GUIDE DEVELOPMENT
A regular visitor to the Civic Centre from       The development consent or complying
the local architectural fraternity was telling   development certificate sets out what is
our customer service staff recently that         required for the development to take place.
blokes are a bit like tiles.                     Compliance with all conditions is required and
                                                 expected unless they are formally modified.
“If you lay them right the first time,” he        Consents may state certain conditions must
chortled as the staff extracted his fees,        be met before an occupation certificate or
                                                 subdivision certificate can be issued.
“you can walk all over them for the rest of
their lives.”

  The photographs used on this page and on the back and front cover of this edition of
  the NAILBAG feature some early 1900s buildings in the Wollondilly River and High
  Range farming areas of Wingecarribee Shire. Like so many buildings of that era, the
  old huts were mostly made from ironbark slabs hewn from trees on the property.
  (Photos courtesy of Geoff Goodfellow).


                               NAIL BAG
   HELPING YOU THROUGH                        1 January 2004, the Minister approved
                                              Australian      International  Insurance
                                              Limited (AIIL), as an approved insurer
     INSURANCE MAZE                           which took over the home warranty
                                              insurance business of Reward Insurance
The following list summarises                 Ltd. Currently, Australian Home Warranty
insurers approved to provide home             acts as the sole underwriting agent
warranty insurance for residential            of AIIL also using various brokers in
building work. Section 103A of the            relation to its home warranty insurance.
Home Building Act 1989 provides that          CGU Home Warranty Insurance
the Minister may approve an insurer           contractor and owner-builder job specific
for the purposes of providing home            policies
warranty insurance for residential            Commenced offering home warranty
building work. These insurers below           insurance through various brokers in
have been approved to provide                 NSW from 17 May 2004.
insurance in NSW. The Minister may            Lumley General Insurance Limited
also revoke or vary an approval at            builders and trade contractors job
any time.                                     specific policies
                                              Approved to offer home warranty
Vero Insurance Limited (Vero)                 insurance through various brokers in
contractor and owner-builder job specific      NSW from 24 September 2004.
policies                                      Australian Unity General Insurance
Vero was formerly known as Royal &            Ltd Owner-builder insurance policies
Sun Alliance Insurance Australia Ltd to       only
whom approval was granted on 28 April         Australian Unity was approved on 13
1997. Royal & Sun Alliance changed            December 2001 to offer home warranty
its name to Vero on 8 November                insurance, but chose to sell only
2003. For a number of years, Vero             owner-builder home warranty insurance
and Aon Risk Services along with HIA          through its two authorised agents
Insurance Services have had an agency         Buildsafe Independent Housing Group
agreement for home warranty insurance.        and Building Industry Solutions Pty Ltd.
This agreement ceased with effect from
7 July 2004. Currently, HIA Insurance
                                              Past approved insurers were:
Services is acting as a broker for number
                                              Suncorp Metway Insurance
of insurance companies.
                                              (26/7/99 – 31/12/00)
Australian International Insurance
                                              Suncorp Metway was approved on 26
Limited (AIIL) contractor and owner-
                                              July 1999 as the underwriting insurer for
builder job specific policies Effective from
                                              its authorised agent Dexta Corporation

Pty Ltd. Suncorp Metway withdrew              Its authorised agent for owner-builder
as Dexta’s underwriting insurer on 31         insurance was Buildsafe. FAI ceased
December 2000.                                issuing home warranty insurance when
Allianz Australia Insurance                   it was taken over by HIH Casualty
(1/1/01 – 31/12/02)                           &General Insurance in early 1999.
Effective from 1 January 2001, Allianz        Zurich Australia Insurance
became the underwriting insurer for           (May 1997 – late 2000)
Dexta Corporation. Allianz was reinsured      Zurich was approved in early May 1997,
by Swiss Re Insurance. Because both           as a home warranty insurer but chose
Allianz and Swiss Re decided to               to cover mainly for small jobs (mostly
withdraw as underwriters, Dexta stopped       trade work). Zurich stopped sale of its
home warranty insurance on 31                 home warranty insurance product in late
December 2002.                                2000.
Reward Insurance Ltd                          Mercantile       Mutual      Insurance
(14/4/01 – 31/12/03)                          (Australia) Ltd (May 1997 – July 2000)
Reward Insurance, as underwriting             Mercantile Mutual was approved in
insurer for its authorised agent Australian   early May 1997 as underwriter for
Home Warranty Pty Ltd, was approved           its authorised agent Owner Builder
on 14 April 2001. Reward withdrew             Insurance Services to offer owner-
from the market on 31 December 2003           builder insurance and Swimming Pool &
when Australian International Insurance       Spas Association to offer home warranty
Limited (AIIL) took over the home             insurance for pools and spas. Mercantile
warranty insurance business of Reward         Mutual merged with QBE Insurance
Insurance Ltd. AIIL was approved on           around October 1999.
1 January 2004 and remains approved           Mercantile Mutual stopped sale of its
as underwriting insurer for its agent         home warranty insurance product in July
Australian Home Warranty.                     2000.
HIH Casualty & General Insurance
(28/4/97 – 15/3/01)
HIH was approved on 28 April 1997
and incorporated FAI Insurance in early        For further information on home warranty
                                               insurance, contact Pushpa Kottegoda
1999. HIH was placed into liquidation on       on 9895 9910 or
15 March 2001. Its approval as a home
warranty insurer was revoked on 22 May         or the Office of Fair Trading’s home
2001.                                          warranty insurance hotline on
FAI Insurance (28/4/97 – early 1999)           1800 678 588.
FAI was approved on 28 April 1997
to provide home warranty insurance.

                                  Ph: 4862 2313 / 0428 674 594

Editor : Geoff Goodfellow
Wingecarribee Shire Council
                                  SCRIBE 2005

PO Box 141, Moss Vale 2577
Telephone : 02 48 680 888
Facsimile : 48 691203
Email :

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