Asbestos is a fibrous material that has been used in the building industry over many years. The use of this material has now stopped and its removal is often required during development or renovation work. Council does not have the power to investigate or enforce any breaches of legislation regarding the removal and disposal of asbestos. There are government bodies that do control these matters and they are EPA (Environment Pollution Authority) Victoria and Victorian WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe).
EPA Victoria has produced a document regarding the transport and disposal of waste asbestos. This document outlines the method and procedures for transporting and disposal of asbestos. They also control and list the licensed premises to accept waste asbestos.
Victorian WorkCover Authority (also know as WorkSafe Victoria)
WorkCover handles the registration of approved people to transport and dispose of waste asbestos. They also control the working conditions for building sites while asbestos is being removed from a building and the site. This is mainly to deal with Occupation Health and Safety (OHS).
Council is required to carry out essential safety measure inspections on certain buildings ranging from Class 1b to Class 9 buildings. When the construction of a building is complete, the building owner is responsible for its upkeep and maintenance, particularly its safety features. The maintenance of essential safety measures will ensure the building and its occupants are protected from dangers such as fire. These safety measures are required to be maintained and serviced at regular periods by a licensed tester.
An essential safety measure is defined under Building Regulations to include the following:
- Air conditioning systems
- Exit doors
- Early warning systems
- Emergency lifts and lights
- Emergency power supply
- Emergency warning systems
- Exit signs
- Fire control centres
- Fire curtains and doors
- Fire extinguishers
- Fire detectors and alarm system
- Fire hydrants
- Fire isolated stairs
- Fire rated materials
- Fire windows
- Mechanical ventilation
- Passage ramps
- Paths of travel to exits
- Smoke alarms
- Smoke control systems
There are many types of fencing that require building permits and some that do not. These fences range from brick front fences to timber side and rear fences.
Fences that adjoin side and rear property lines do not require a building permit if constructed under 2.0 metres in height. Front fences constructed of brick or stone above 1.2 metres in height and timber and steel fences above 1.5 metres high require a building permit.
Fencing located on the front and side street boundaries of a corner property cannot exceed 1.0 metres in height when within 9.0 metres of the intersection of street alignments. If there is a need for the fence to be higher, a dispensation will be required from the Municipal Building Surveyor.
The Dispute Settlement Centre can give legal advice on the Fence Act and also help mediate between the two parties when matters cannot be resolved.
Fencing Online has provides various information ranging from copies of the Fencing Act, Fencing Notice forms and other helpful information.
Disputes involving dividing fences are the most common disputes dealt with at the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria. The rights and responsibilities of the parties are contained in the Fences Act.
Ballarat Justice Service Centre
206 Mair Street
Ballarat VIC 3350
Notice to Fence form(DOC, 24KB)
Form to inform your neighbour of your need to fence
Fence on Boundary(PDF, 122KB)
Information on fencing a boundary
Fence specification(PDF, 307KB)
Information on fence specifications
Self contained smoke alarms are required to be installed in every dwelling (Class 1, 2, 3 and Class 4). They need to be installed in appropriate locations on or near the ceiling of every storey of the dwelling in accordance with AS3786-1993.
For information regarding requirements for swimming pools and spas in Victoria please check Victorian Building Authority or Swimming Pool & Spa Association Victoria.
Termite management involves reducing the chances that major damage is caused to your house by termite or white ant infestations. Termites cause more damage to Australian houses than fire, floods and storms combined - damage that is not covered by household insurance. For further information please check Victorian Building Authority Termite Management.
Water tanks are becoming more popular due to the dry weather experienced over the past years. The higher demand on water supplies has seen the government change the building regulations to include water tanks as part of new 6 star residential energy provisions for developments. For further information please check Victorian Building Authority- Rainwater Tanks.