Council's role in building and construction work varies greatly depending on whether or not Council has been appointed the Principal Certifier (PC) for a development. This is the same whether the development was approved via a Development Application (DA) or Complying Development Certificate (CDC).
If Council is appointed the PC, Council becomes the building inspector and must carry out all the functions of the PC, including carrying out all the required inspections associated with the building works or subdivision works.
When a private certifier is appointed the PC they are required to fulfil all the roles of the PC. It is not Council's responsibility to monitor or ensure building and construction compliance, however, Council still may get involved in response to complaints and in cases where private certifiers do not adequately meet their obligations. When a private certifier has been appointed the PC, the Council generally becomes the "keeper of the records", but is not directly involved in the inspection of the development site.
When Council is not the PC it does not have ready access to construction timeframes and schedules, and various professional reports that may be produced during the construction phase, including structural engineer’s certification and survey information. Such information and reports are not required to be submitted to Council until after the final occupation certificate has been issued by the PC. It is important to note that this is a significant impediment to Council’s ability to respond to general enquiries on a development site overseen by a private certifier.
The PC may also notify Council of construction non-compliances which enable Council to take enforcement action. Nevertheless, Council retains its regulatory role and enforcement powers and can take action if and when required. In addition, if Council becomes aware of a development not complying after the issuing of an Occupation Certificate (OC), Council may commence enforcement action to rectify the matter.