What a boofhead

The repercussions of the tragic fire, death and injuries in the Bankstown apartments two weeks ago will take some time to settle. It’s hard not to harken back to the good old days before developers could buy their own certifier and we all had far more confidence when a Council ticked off that a developer had complied with their conditions of consent rather than some flunky on the payroll of the developer.

We will deal with this issue fully when all the facts are known but we understand that the plans filed by the developer to Bankstown City Council which were approved did not have a roof of any sort over the atrium. Some other plans exist (because the private certifier Barry Johnson says he has plans showing opening louvres on the roof and not an enclosed roof) and the status of these plans is uncertain. We know the Council issued fire notices over concerns about fire safety “alternate solutions” and that there may be issues of internal petitioning contrary to the approved plans which were a relevant factor. Still, to be prudent, we make no observations other than these.

Apart from this one - Craig Hardy is a boofhead.

Craig started in local government with an interest in environmental work at Campbelltown. At Wollondilly, he took a day or two off and represented an applicant in a local court matter against colleagues he shared an office with and sneered at their professionalism. This was in the days prior to the 1993 Act and the restrictions on other work under section 353 but his propensity to attack his workmates and his lack of respect for local government employees was clearly evident here.

At Wollongong he was responsible for preparing the council’s exempt and complying development codes and then embraced the opportunities available when the NSW Government decided developers could buy their own certifier in 1995/96.

He conceived and delivered the Association of Accredited Certifiers (in a bit of a scientific first) installed himself as President and has continued in that role since 2003.

Immediately after the Bankstown fire people were lining up questioning the inherent contradictions of the private certifier system and the undeniable challenges arising from a developer paying someone to certify the quality and adequacy of their work.

In Sydney’s Daily Telegraph on 11 September they ran an article under the heading “building a blitz on dodgy certifiers”, the Telegraph railed against the BPB’s flimsy record of disciplining private certifiers – noting that the BPB had only cancelled the licences of five certifiers out of 61 disciplined in the last three years and pointing out that 10 certifiers are serial offenders with between five and 14 reprimands each “including approving a fire safety door that opened inward and a childcare centre without automatic smoke detectors.” Lovely.

But, Association of Accredited Certifiers President Craig Hardy told the Telegraph “private certifiers were tougher on builders than were their Council counterparts.”

Craig, pull the other one. No-one believes that the more reliant you are on the developer as your boss and your income stream, the more likely you are to be tough on them. Everyone knows, regardless of attempts in the legislation to establish some sort of public obligation, that the financial connection makes those charged with certifying compliance, nothing but compliant.

A lot of developers would be disappointed with Craig’s assertion. Most developers like private certifiers because they are beholden to them. That’s why they wanted them in the first place and that’s why they use them now.

But we don’t know whether Craig made that up, whether Craig is basing that on how he used to do the job when he was in local government or whether he really believes it. What do you think?

All we suggest is that next time you see him pedalling his own brand of self-aggrandisement and his contempt for local government professionals at a conference, you give him the recognition and the respect he deserves.  

Leon Rodwell
Come on Roland, what cabbage were you born under? of course the majority of depa members support this position.
Craig Hardly-matters has NO credibility with the building surveyors in local government in NSW and from your statement I wonder where you live/work? Certainly not local government in NSW

Totally disagree…

The author clearly has an agenda, personal opinion or is so disassociated from the real issues facing all building surveyors throughout Australia.

This article has been presented in the public forum in an extremely unprofessional manner on behalf of DEPA.

Just the tone and negative attitude voids any kind of credibility of this article. This article to me reads more negatively on the unknown, self-promoted Author than the named victims within.

Luckily readers and members of DEPA and Council Surveyors specifically have a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of the challenges that both Council and Private Surveyors.

DEPA, who is this guy representing your association “Working for Environmental and Development Professionals in Local Government’. Is this DEPA’s official position/opinion?

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