Validity of construction certificates

Who has the power to declare a construction certificate valid or invalid?

The Land and Environment Court is the only institution with the power to declare a construction certificate valid or invalid.

Ultimately, the question of whether a particular breach will result in invalidity of a construction certificate is a legal question. This question can only be answered through the legal process of statutory interpretation.

The consequence of a breach will not always, or automatically, be invalidity. In many instances, the appropriate response could be disciplinary consequences by the Building Professionals Board (read more about that process by clicking here), or a separate civil action in the courts for damages.

Recent amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 explicitly give the Land and Environment Court the power to declare a construction certificate to be invalid in instances where “the plans and specifications or standards of building work or subdivision work specified in the certificate are not consistent with the development consent for the building work or subdivision work”.  It is important to note that this change has not commenced yet, however it will broaden the Court’s ability in the future to declare a construction certificate to be invalid.

If you have questions about the validity of a construction certificate, it may be best to speak to your accredited certifier, or seek legal advice.

If you would like legal advice, you can also contact Alyce Kliese directly by clicking here.

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Alyce is a civil engineer and a practicing lawyer, who has a desire to share her insights on the legal and practical realities of the development industry.

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