Reduced income from Council’s Development & Certification program has resulted in staff recommending in the draft budget 2019-20 that funds be transferred from the Environment Enforcement Levy reserve to cover that decrease.
Under the Development & Certification program, Council staff assess and certify DAs (issuing Construction, Occupation and Complying Development Certificates), while also offering advice in other areas such as compliance or general technical support.
According to Council’s web page Building Certification Services, ‘Council’s Building Certification team simplifies the process and eliminates the need to engage additional consultancies and certifiers – saving you time and money’.
The decline in the staff services has seen former Council planning staff offer their services privately.
The Echo asked staff, ‘Won’t diminished funds from the Environment Enforcement Levy reserve provide less compliance and potentially more issues of environmental damage and degradation?’
Staff replied, ‘The environmental enforcement levy provides for additional compliance resourcing and projects to be funded – and any impact on the levy the result of DA fees – does not impact on the normal compliance operational budget, and or Council’s responsibilities under the compliance priorities program’.