22 May 2019

Construction bans lifted on 17 Gungahlin building sites

| Lachlan Roberts
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Access Canberra has handed out 178 demerit points to construction occupation licensees since last July. File photo.

Notices stopping work on 17 residential building sites across Gungahlin have now been lifted nearly three months after they were issued.

On 1 March, building inspectors handed notices to 12 building companies in charge of 17 sites across the Gungahlin region after inspectors found timber framing defects impacting on the structural integrity of the buildings.

Exposed steel reinforcement in concrete slabs and the incorrect installation of window flashings, which if left could result in water entering the building on completion, were also detected.

As of last week, the last notice was lifted off the building sites. ACT construction occupations registrar Ben Green said the action sent a strong message to builders that building inspectors will not hesitate to stop the project if it did not meet the required standard.

“Appropriate supervision and quality control by builders could have prevented these issues from occurring in the first place,” Mr Green said.

“Instead, what we have seen is delays for homeowners and additional costs, in terms of time and money, to the builders who have had to rectify the issues.

“The necessary rectification works have been completed to support compliance and support quality building in the ACT.”

Access Canberra had undertaken 328 proactive building compliance checks, 18,218 plumbing, drainage and gas inspections and 34,202 electrical inspections since July last year.

During that time, Access Canberra has handed out 178 demerit points to construction occupation licensees, nine notices directing building work to be undertaken and 28 stop work notices.

“These checks have taken place across residential, multi-unit and commercial sites,” Mr Green said.

“With more than 8000 active building approvals in the ACT at any time, the vast majority of building works occur to a high standard. However, the industry is on notice that non-compliant and poor quality work is not tolerated and action will be taken.

“Access Canberra is continuing to work with industry to support ongoing improvement in building quality and standards in the ACT.”

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I trust the inspectors will go back to these sites later to check for corners cut by builders to make up what they’ve lost on remediation of the original defects.

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