Lobbying win for erosion and sediment control

10 November 2020

Following relentless lobbying of the Department of Environment and Science, Master Builders has successfully made changes to the compliance Procedural Guides for erosion and sediment control on building and construction sites.

The new guides address the problem previously faced, where a $10,000 penalty could be applied to a contemplated offence – which means a situation where no actual earth sediment deposit has occurred.

The change now clarifies that Authorised Officers are required to exercise discretion when making compliance and enforcement decisions in certain circumstances. Specific scenarios are now provided that describe where it is necessary and appropriate to bring the issue /offence to the attention of the builder and allow them reasonable time to rectify before they can be held accountable for the deposit.

It is recommended that in these situations the builder (as identified by the signage on site and any follow-up enquiries with the relevant local government) is given a warning directly by telephone or via email identifying that a prescribed water contaminant has been deposited on the site or the potential for release exists.

The guide also now advises that builders have up to 24 hours to notify the authorised officer the rectification has been completed. In the absence of confirmation, further action will be taken.

More information

Further information on the guides is available on the Department of Environment and Science's website.

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