• Private certifier gets nailed – depaNews November 2010
  • Wake up and don't worry - depaNews February 2011
  • HR professionals – depaNews January 2009
  • Upper Hunter gets coy – depaNews March 2011
  • BPB kills off B1 & B2 - depaNews July 2009
  • Councillors behaving badly Part One - depaNews December 2009
  • Councillors behaving badly Part Two - depaNews December 2009
  • Who is Peter Hurst? - depaNews August 2010
  • It's time to go, Peter Part One - depaNews September 2006
  • It's time to go Peter Part Two - depaNews December 2006
  • BPB survey on accreditation – depaNews November 2008
  • Improbable things start to come true – depaNews June 2010
  • Sex, lies and development – depaNews February 2008
  • Pizza man feeds non-members – depaNews April 2011
  • Bankstown wins HR Award – depaNews December 2010
  • Love him or loathe him - depaNews October 2007
  • Good Bad & Ugly issue – depaNews November 2010
  • Upper Hunter lets the dogs out - depaNews February 2011
  • IRC puts brakes on belligerent seven – depaNews June 2009
  • It's Tweedledum and not Tweedledumber - depaNews March 2007
  • 28 April International Day of Mourning - depaNews April 2009
  • IRC orders Hurst 'apology' published - depaNews December 2010
  • Debate on IR policy – depaNews August 2007
  • Developer agrees to apologise – depaNews November 2010
  • OH&S Day of Mourning – depaNews April 2009

The Development and Environmental Professionals' Association (depa)

Welcome to the depa website. We are an industrial organisation representing professional employees working in local government in New South Wales in a variety of jobs in the fields of environmental health, public health, building and development control and planning.

We take a broad approach to our responsibilities to members and give advice and assistance on professional issues as well as industrial and workplace issues. We understand what members do at work and that allows us to take a holistic approach.  Read more about us...

This site will keep you up-to-date with union news and the diverse range of workplace advocacy issues we deal with daily. We have made it easy for members to contact us with online forms and quickly Join depa onlne nowaccess information from our extensive FAQs.

BPB kills off B1 & B2 - depaNews July 2009

Shock horror: BPB kills off B1 and B2

It wasn't us, but apparently sufficient people complained to the BPB about there being different letters of the alphabet to denote accreditation levels for private certifiers and council employees, for them to do something about it in version 2 currently being canvassed in the industry. The BPB had proposed B1, B2 and B3 as designations for local government employees doing "certifying" while private certifiers operate as A1, A2 and A3.

So, B1 and B2 are dead.

Clearly we underestimated how offensive you all found the BPB. We thought the idea that you should be accredited at all sufficiently offensive and didn't really worry about the letter of the alphabet that preceded the level. We too are chastened.

The BPB has been through a process of consultation with some fairly hand-selected representatives in the industry. Members of the Department of Planning’s Local Government Planning Directors Group nominated some employees who were doing "certifying" and this group met with the BPB on 18 June. Other groups (like EDAP) were invited to consult too and depa was invited to meet with BPB Chair Sue Holiday and CEO Neil Cocks on 9 July.

The depa Committee of Management considered version 2 when it met on 3 July. Committee Member Jim Boyce from Taree had been invited to the consultation group earlier and Jim was able to take the Committee through the detail of the proposal.

What can you say? If you are going to be beaten up, then you hope that those attacking you cause the least damage. And this latest proposal is a pretty soft way of doing it.

The Committee carried a unanimous resolution identifying our historic and continuing opposition to privatising development control in principle and our opposition to the accreditation of council employees because we believe sufficient checks and balances (and importantly, no conflict of interest) exist in local government to make this all under necessary.

The resolution can be found here.

This resolution has now been forwarded to the BPB as our official response.

Version 2 is so inoffensive (in the context of those things we have asked them to reconsider) that you wonder why they would bother. It's hard to see how it provides any value at all other than achieving the policy objective of some sort of accreditation regime. And while the welcome steps to dilute the original requirements of the scheme will be welcomed by local government, the private certifiers’ lobby groups like the AIBS and the AAC (or whatever Craig Hardy's group is called) won't like it at all

Isn't it funny to watch how Government develops public policy?

We expect to meet again with the BPB after they have considered a variety of things we've asked them to think about in the Committee of Management resolution.

Robbo's Pearls...

Combined Unions defeat NSW Government in the High Court

At 2:15pm this afternoon the Full Court of the High Court handed down their judgment in the Combined Unions’ challenge to the NSW Government. The challenge had sought to have the Court declare changes to the Electoral Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Act 1981 unconstitutional. These changes, incorporated in the Electoral Funding Act 2018, reduced limits on expenditure of third-party campaigners from $1 million-$500,000, reduced the capacity of unions working together by retaining the $500,000 limit regardless of how many unions are involved, and introduced jail terms of up to 2 years for breaches.

It’s hard to imagine any better way of starting the new year than rolling the Government. This afternoon, the High Court did precisely that and, to make our victory total and glorious, awarded costs against the Government as well.

Well done to Unions NSW for organising this and all those NSW unions - including the three local government unions - who supported it financially.

We’ve covered the offensive nature of these legislative changes in depaNews in October and November.  The Government reduced the effectiveness of third-party campaigners - which also includes churches, community groups, GetUp, the NRMA, pro and anti-carbon lobbying groups, the Lock the Gate Alliance etc.  Only tyrants and opponents of democracy and transparency try to reduce the effectiveness of political opponents and frustrate the right of opponents to properly campaign and run their argument.

Shame on you, Gladys and all your lot.

We’ve not yet read the judgment in full, preferring to get out the basic win or lose news, but will let you know if we find any juicy or damning bits in the February issue of depaNews.

And just to show you how even-handed we are, in the interests of balance, here is a picture of the Premier having a happier day two weeks ago waving to a driverless and passengerless train successfully arriving at Chatswood Station. No driver, no passengers, but it was on time.  Now there’s commitment to public transport.

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