Builders warned about their damage to community infrastructure

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SHANE Rattenbury says a recent educational blitz by ACT Government rangers on 116 building sites has discovered a range of issues.

“Earlier this month, 24 ACT Government rangers visited building sites in Casey, Crace, Coombs and Ngunnawal to remind building companies of their requirements to protect public land while undertaking construction activity,” Shane said.

“The main issues identified were illegal use of verges for storing building materials, damage to street trees, illegal parking, inadequate waste management arrangements, failing to display required signage and lack of fencing to secure construction sites.

“Our rangers spoke to some builders at the sites and will undertake further conversations with representatives from the various building companies. Many of the builders took the opportunity to ask questions to help them better understand their requirements and I hope this collegiate approach continues in the coming months.

“Letters will be sent to builders to rectify damage that has been noticed and there will be an ongoing program of targeted compliance and education programs throughout 2015.

“It is essential the ACT Government works with the construction industry to improve compliance around protection of public property and the environment. Damage to public assets such as verges, footpaths, street trees, kerbing and stormwater drains creates an added cost to the developers and to the public as rectification works need to be undertaken.

“Builders need to be more accountable for their actions when using public land for construction purposes, particularly in new development areas. While an educative approach has been taken initially there is potential for fines to be issued in future blitzes if the building industry does not take positive action to ensure they care for open space assets and the environment.”

Mr Rattenbury said that the Master Builders Association and Housing Industry Association are both supportive of the Government taking stronger compliance action.

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