- Questions on Notice No 6210
- Assembly59 Parliament First Session
- Asked: 6 October 2021
Question on Notice
Mr Bull (Gippsland East) to ask the Minister for Planning — Ron Porto had a local company replace the stumps on his house at Stockdale Road, and sought the required inspection by a qualified building inspector to certify compliance with building regulations. Mr Porto alleges the building inspector issued a certificate of compliance following a brief visit to his property, but that during this visit did not properly inspect the works. He has raised the matter with the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) and reports he has not received a commitment to investigate, or even a response.
(1) Will the Minister confirm it is the VBA that is tasked with investigating building inspection complaints; if not, which agency is.
(2) If so, will the Minister direct it to properly assess Mr Porto’s complaint and provide a thorough response in relation to it.
(3) If Mr Porto is unhappy with the response from the VBA, will the Minister provide information on which agency he may then progress the matter to.
- Answered: 23 November 2021
The VBA is the appropriate authority to investigate complaints about building inspectors.
The VBA has assessed the complaint from Mr Porto which concerned a building inspector undertaking an inspection which he believed was unsatisfactory.
The VBA provided Mr Porto with a response to his complaint on 5 February 2021. Mr Porto was not satisfied with the VBA’s response to his complaint and requested a review on 12 May 2021.
A review was undertaken by a senior officer within the VBA and the same outcome was determined. Mr Porto was provided with a response explaining the review and reasons for its outcome on 25 May 2021.
The VBA wrote to Mr Porto again on 11 October 2021 in response to further concerns raised about the conduct of the relevant inspection. The VBA determined that a Certificate of Final Inspection (CFI) was issued by the relevant building surveyor on the basis of the inspection and the inspection report stated that the building work substantially complied with the approved building permit and plans and that the building work was completed.
The VBA will investigate matters where a potential breach or offence of building legislation has been identified. The purpose of a VBA investigation is to gather evidence of breach or offences and consider disciplinary sanction against the subject of the complaint.
The VBA’s assessment of Mr Porto’s complaint has confirmed that both the building inspector and the relevant building surveyor acted in accordance with their responsibilities under the building legislation. This is why the VBA, based on the information provided to date, is unable to take any action.
If Mr Porto is not satisfied with the VBA’s handling of a complaint, they may make a submission to the VBA’s Integrity Unit. Information about this process can be found on the VBA’s website at https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/about/holding-the-VBA-to-account
If Mr Porto is still not satisfied with the outcome, he may make a complaint about the VBA to the Victorian Ombudsman.
HON RICHARD WYNNE MP
Minister for Planning