The Victorian Building Authority has come under fire for its failure to undertake sufficient measures to safeguard residents and buildings from incidents such as the Mt Waverley pit collapse.
The highly damaging collapse of a building pit in the Melbourne suburb of Mount Waverley has led to calls from local government for an overhaul of the state’s construction industry regulator.
Manningham Council is calling for improvements to Victoria’s building surveying system in order to better protect both people and residences from devastating construction accidents such as the Mount Waverley pit collapse.
The building site collapse occurred at the corner of Highbury and Huntingdale roads in July, following the performance of excavation work for the construction of a three-storey building equipped with an underground car park.
The resulting 15-metre deep pit has compromised the foundations of two adjacent townhouses as well as compelled the evacuation of more than a dozen local residents, including a family of four from their own home and a group of 10 students residing next to the building site.
The council made a no-confidence motion in the Victorian Building Authority at a bi-annual meeting of the Municipal Association of Victoria’s governing council, following the release of two reports from the Auditor-General that concluded the state regulatory body has been remiss in its duties.
According to the council there are currently no safeguards in place to ensure that surveying work is being properly performed, or that “the risk of injury or damage to any person is being minimised.”
The motion submitted by the council further stated that the VBA had “lost the trust and respect of councils and the community” as a result of its negligence.
Members of industry have echoed the views of Manningham Council, with spokesman for the Building Industry Reform Group Phil Dwyer stating that the council’s motion of no confidence was “just repeating what everyone is saying: no on has any confidence in the authority.
“For the authority to say otherwise is just laughable.”
VBA chief executive Prue Digby expressed her disappointment at the motion submitted by the council, and said that its members had failed to “[understand] the role of the VBA.”