Latrobe City Council successfully pursues legal action

Posted on 12 March 2019


Latrobe City Council has successfully pursued legal action against two individuals in relation to breaches of the Building Act 1993. Prosecution is not something Council pursue lightly but one that sends the right message to those who may flout the regulations and potentially put others in our community in danger.
Council has a responsibility to the wider community to ensure that buildings meet minimum safety standards and tradespeople are appropriately registered. Action including prosecution is undertaken to ensure the safety and health of all residents in the municipality and to ensure construction and occupation standards satisfactorily comply with relevant legislation
The first case was brought against an unregistered building practitioner after he failed to obtain a building permit and received money to obtain a building permit but failed to obtain one. Magistrate Alsop found the building contractor guilty on all charges, imposing a conviction, a fine of $2,000 and costs of $1935.20. He was critical of the builder’s failure to be appropriately registered to carry out building work on dwellings (restumping, reblocking, etc) and acknowledged that the rights of the property owner had been compromised as a result of the building contractor’s actions.
The second case was brought against a property owner who breached sections of the Building Act 1993 including failing to obtain building permits, failing to comply with building orders, failing to obtain relevant occupancy permits and occupying a building without proper waste disposal systems. Magistrate Alsop found the property owner guilty on all charges, imposing a conviction, a fine of $5,000 and costs of $2,578.29. He was critical of the owner’s failure to comply with building orders issued by Council and issued an injunction requiring the owner to demolish and remove the buildings, or to obtain appropriate permits in order to bring the building into compliance to the satisfaction of the municipal building surveyor.
Latrobe City Council wishes to remind all residences considering building works that they:
• Have received a building permit for any works prior to allowing their contractor to commence any building works;
• Obtain an occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection at the completion of building works and prior to occupying any building;, and
• Ensure that their builder or contractor is a Registered Building Practitioner (RBP) with the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).  They can check the builders registration on the VBA’s web site at

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