Top honour for City of Mandurah

Article image - Top honour for City of Mandurah Australian Institute of Building Surveyors Awards, Western Australian Branch: (l – r) Mark Newman, City of Mandurah Chief Executive Officer; Gavin Worth, the City’s Building and Compliance coordinator; Gary Fitzgerald, AIBS WA Chapter President and winner of the John George Award; Merv Stewart, Life Fellow Membership Award winner; James Bertram, Industry Award winner; and Julian Goldacre, 2012 AIBS Building Surveyor of the Year. A proactive approach to the new Western Australian Building Act has landed the City of Mandurah with a top honour at the annual WA Branch of the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors Awards.

The organisation’s WA Branch held a gala dinner in August, where the City’s Building and Development Compliance team was awarded Local Government of the Year for its hard work in the lead up to the implementation of the new Act in April 2012.

Over the past 18 months, the City’s Building and Development Compliance team has been working to ensure that it could maintain a high, consistent level of service to its customers by providing clarity on the best options of how to obtain a building permit under the new Act. The City has also continued to provide a building certification service for all development types within the Mandurah district.

Prior to the new Act being introduced, the team was one of the first local government teams to gain Council endorsement for all the necessary changes to fee structures, delegations and authorisations. This meant the City was in a position to implement the new regulations well ahead of schedule.

After consulting with a number of its key customers, the team set up a user-friendly application system and provided guidance to the building industry on the new legislation.

“The team is very deserving of this award,” Mandurah Chief Executive Officer Mark Newman said. “All their hard work has put the City in a great position to provide and maintain good service to its customers and ratepayers.”

Mr Newman went on to say: “The team worked closely with the WA Building Commission to implement the required changes, and shared their information with other local governments to assist them in developing their strategies. Their proactive approach has put the City of Mandurah at the forefront of professional standards and enables us to better assist the local building industry.”

The new building legislation has introduced significant challenges to the building industry, both for the private sector and for local government, with one of the major benefits being that applicants now have a choice about how they can obtain a building permit.