VBA Actions for the week ending 13 November 2020

Hand basin
A summary of VBA prosecutions, show cause notices, notices of decision, permit levy audits, proactive inspections and plumbing activities for the week.

Investigations (Building)

  • Referrals for potential prosecution: 1
  • Prosecutions initiated from referrals: 2

Investigations (Plumbing)

  • Warning letters issued: 2

Complaints and Statutory Referrals

  • A building practitioner received a warning letter for appointing a building surveyor when another building surveyor had already been appointed for the same site.
  • A building surveyor was issued a warning letter for accepting an appointment when another private building surveyor had already been appointed for the same site.
  • Three building practitioners received warning letters for failing to comply with their respective Building Orders.
  • Two builders received warning letters for failing to call for mandatory inspections.

Practitioner Discipline

  • Show Cause Notices issued: 2

Plumbing Inquiries

  • Belmont plumber Thomas McNiven pleaded guilty in a VBA Plumbing Inquiry to multiple breaches of the Building Act, including carrying out non-compliant gasfitting work and failing to provide a compliance certificate within five days of completing work. He was fined almost $5000 and must complete two training courses within the next 12 months or he will have his plumbing licence cancelled. The VBA will also inspect his next five gas unit installations.

Prosecutions

  • Ahmad Heidari was convicted and fined $1000 (plus costs) in the Geelong Magistrates’ Court for carrying out plumbing work on a Chadstone property while unregistered and unlicensed.
  • Kyabram builder Brendan Peter Roberts was convicted and fined $5000 in the Shepparton Magistrates’ Court for carrying out building work without a permit and working as a plumber without being registered.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal matters

  • The AAT affirmed the VBA’s decision to deny registration to a practitioner who sought registration as a Commercial Builder (Limited to structural fit out work) via mutual recognition. See Constantine Catacouzinos v. Victorian Building Authority (AAT ref. 2019/4822) for more information.

Proactive Inspections

  • 272 inspections across 31 municipalities
  • Building Orders for Minor Work issued: 2

Plumbing Audits

  • Audits: 151
  • Re-audits: 30
  • Inspections: 18
  • Re-inspections: 1

Statewide Cladding Audit

  • Inspections completed: 11
  • Buildings assessed by Advisory Reference Panels: 7
  • Of the buildings assessed by ARPs, all were rated higher risk.