What’s Lyall been doing?

We’ve been fascinated with Lyall Dix since the 1980s when, as an officer in the Department of Local Government, he was the prime mover setting up opportunities for councils in the old Local Government Act to contract work out. And then to generally start developing proposals for private certification.

Lyall has had more penalties imposed by the BPB than any other certifier, sufficient that he’ll never practise again, and he still holds the record for the biggest fine - $50,000 in 2012. But he continues to operate in a business called the Dix Gardner Group that does regularly find itself in the news for the sorts of things that had the BPB stripping Lyall of his accreditation.

On 18 October the Land and Environment Court ruled that a half-built luxury house at Seaforth on the Middle Harbour hadn’t been constructed according to its development consents, was encroaching on a neighbour’s property and was in need of emergency works to make it structurally stable. And as the Herald observes,

”To top it off, a sandstone block wall was erected on foreshore land that belonged to Transport for NSW, the court found”.

“Council told the court that there were two unauthorised balconies and an unauthorised staircase, a lift shaft in the wrong location and openings in the master bedroom and ground floor that were never approved.

Excavation and geotechnical piles were being installed under the house that were never included in the plans, the Council said. Those activities gave neighbours the impression an illegal third story was being built.

Council found the awning, staircase, terrace and pool were all encroaching onto a neighbour’s property and there was a question as to “how lawful access to the front door will be gained”.

The unlawful works were carried out under the watch of notorious private certifier Stanly Spyrou of the Dix Gardner Group, who is currently serving a five-year ban for allowing people to move into to other buildings posing a “hazard” to occupants.”

The shocked owner now needs a new development application with Northern Beaches Council.

How much longer will the NSW Government allow people stripped of their accreditation by the BPB/Fair Trading to continue to work running a business employing others?

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