Mayor calls for investigation into private certifiers

INVESTIGATION: Councillor Ray Harty has backed the council's efforts to address the issue of private certifiers approving defect buildings.

INVESTIGATION: Councillor Ray Harty has backed the council's efforts to address the issue of private certifiers approving defect buildings.

ANOTHER building approved by a private certifier despite defects has sparked fears that there could be more unsafe residential buildings in The Hills.

A Fire and Rescue NSW report that investigated a residential complex at Crane Road in Castle Hill identified numerous fire safety problems, including a faulty alarm and no fire hydrant system.

The Hills mayor Yvonne Keane has called on the state government to look at the role and accountability of private certifiers.

“I am deeply concerned that this could just be the tip of the iceberg,” Councillor Keane said.

“The community will not tolerate any loss of life due to buildings not having the required standards of fire safety.

“We need to provide over 700,000 new dwellings in Sydney in the form of high density apartments and the lack of building construction oversight is nothing short of alarming. There are inherent conflicts of interest and we are seeing blatant failure to comply with fire safety standards.”

Cr Ray Harty, who highlighted a previous private certifier issue at Garthowen Crescent, said the person responsible for the Crane Road complex had been disqualified for five years.

“There needs to be a campaign about it,” Cr Harty said at last week’s council meeting.

The council has sent letters to Housing Minister Anthony Roberts and Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean regarding the issue.

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