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CVC Councillors

Valley Watch coy on commenting about DA audit

Geoff Helisma

The Independent spoke with a Valley Watch representative, who asked to remain anonymous and said “we don’t want to be saying too much” about the NOM for the moment.

However, the spokesperson said, in relation to questions posed by councillors at the October 26 Clarence Valley Council (CVC) meeting, that four of the DA proponents had approached CVC for a review.

“They came to us because they were getting nowhere, [they said] they were not responded to,” the spokesperson said.

“We’re not experts, that’s why we called for an audit (we don’t have the funds), to find out if the allegations were true or not.

“The allegations are not [Valley Watch’s] they came to us for help … some of the DAs are a few years old; in some instances, they’ve been battling on for years.”

The fifth DA, however, was referred to the ombudsman and has been the subject of a “review of the issues relating to alleged defects in the construction of a home and the related complaints and dispute process”.

The case study, which is on the NSW Government’s website, was initiated by the NSW Building Commissioner and completed by WEIR Legal & Consulting in December 2020.

It “reviews … the issues relating to alleged defects in the construction of a home and the related complaints and dispute process”.

In the 5. Liability and possible further action that could be taken against each party section, the case study notes under the Council subheading, that “the OFT [Office of Fair Trading] has no ability to investigate or consider disciplinary action against the officers involved” because they “were not accredited by the Building Practitioners Board … at the time of the relevant conduct [of the] council officers”.

“Council may have acted negligently, however any claim that could have been made by the Owners is now statute barred,” the case study states.

The Valley Watch spokesperson said that his organisation would be speaking with the people who had made allegations “to discuss what options there are to see if they want to take it further”.

Please see https://clarencevalleynews.com.au/councillors-split-on-environment-groups-request-to-audit-das/ for more. 

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