• 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...

“Keep your hands off our super”


The Royal Commission has revealed in the banks and insurance companies a chronic failure of prudent governance by their own company boards. These are boards, upon which sit directors, highly paid, highly experienced in business, industry or finance, highly educated, all with varying levels of membership of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, yet somehow just missing all of this crooked, shonky and on thousands of occasions, potentially criminal behaviour. 

All Peter Dutton worried about with the Royal Commission was the opportunity to have the investigation get into industry boards with their “union members and whatnot on the board”, but it’s the boards without “union members and whatnot on the boards” which are the problem here.

Under the front page headline “White flag on union super”, the Financial Review revealed today that the federal government “has dumped long-standing plans to dilute union and employer group influence on industry super fund boards after the damage done to retail funds by the Payne Royal Commission ended any prospect securing Senate support.” Apparently this was a decision taken by former PM Turnbull and where this week’s PM has said that view won’t change.

Back in December 2013, Robbo’s Pearls shouted “keep your hands off our super”, arguing strongly against the Government strategy, up until now trapped in the Senate due to a lack of support, to put purported “independents” on industry boards. Here is a link, because the decision just announced by the Government to back off on the commitment to get their mates a gig on superannuation boards is the end of the battle.  Maybe what company boards need is more union members and whatnot and maybe Robbo’s pearls has helped encourage this debate.

It certainly creates a new landscape for the prudent regulation of superannuation funds.

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