In late 2018, Brisbane City Council announced at an industry forum the commencement of a pilot program for the Development Assurance Auditing Program. This has now been implemented and is in operation.
The over-arching aim of the initiative is to ensure quality built environment outcomes throughout Brisbane, which aligns with the objectives of the Brisbane Futures Blueprint. To do this, Council will seek to adopt a more proactive role in ensuring that development outcomes are matched with development approvals, through greater interaction during the construction phase of projects.
It is not uncommon for a degree of variation to occur between approved and constructed developments, whether in response to on-site circumstances, economic pressures and changing market conditions, or other matters. Whilst always preferable to regularise changes through formal application processes, some developers are willing to gamble to avoid the associated cost and time delays. Construction activities are also a source of frequent frustration for local residents, through disruptions associated with issues including parking, access and construction times and noise. Prevention of such impacts is often sought through construction management plans and pre-start meetings.
To limit potential for compliance and enforcement actions, sites will be selected at Council’s discretion to be part of the auditing program and will be attended by Council officers around the time site works are commenced. Inspections will be conducted at various stages to monitor progress and to facilitate identification of any non-compliances with approval requirements that must be resolved. These include the entire suite of approved plans, conditions and documents.
For our clients and those developing in Brisbane, this means that effective project management is of paramount importance.
Although it may be regarded by some as an unnecessary imposition, developers should instead regard this initiative as a positive opportunity to restore confidence in the development and construction industry for the community. This moves beyond immediate local impacts and benefits, but is a critical national issue of recent times, where the sector has been maligned by reports of building defects and failures that require expensive, disruptive and time-consuming repairs.
Brisbane City Council has produced a fact sheet, which applicants may have noticed attached to recent approvals and which is available online. We encourage all our clients and those who develop in Brisbane to be aware of their obligations when constructing approved developments, and the potential to be selected for increased Council scrutiny.
Keep up to date with KRA!
To view this blog in PDF, click here: BCC Development Assurance Auditing Program