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Riverland Regional Development Assessment Panel

Minutes/Agendas

March 9 2017
.pdf Riverland Regional Development Assessment Panel Agendas
.pdf Riverland Regional Development Assessment Panel Minutes

That the Policy and Terms of Reference for the Riverland Regional Building Fire Safety Committee are as follows:

RIVERLAND BUILDING FIRE SAFETY COMMITTEE

Policy

1. BACKGROUND:

Section 71 of the Development Act, 1993, empowers Council to investigate whether building owners maintain acceptable levels of fire safety in their respective premises for the protection of all occupants. The Act determines that either an Authorised Council Officer with prescribed qualifications or a member of an "appropriate authority" (Riverland Building Fire Safety Committee) can perform necessary inspections to assess fire safety levels in buildings. Furthermore the Building Fire Safety Committee is empowered to take action, where circumstances warrant such action, to formally request alterations or upgrading to buildings to improve to an acceptable standard the fire safety of buildings including compliance with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia and relevant standards where considered appropriate by the Building Fire Safety Committee.

2. BUILDING FIRE SAFETY COMMITTEE STRUCTURE:

The Committee shall consist of a minimum of three (3) members, where two (2) members constitute a quorum the other member is the delegated Fire Authority Representative. The Committee has a Chairperson and Secretary and regular meetings are held at which accurate minutes and records are kept. The prescribed qualifications of the members are as follows:-

a) a person with prescribed qualifications in Building Surveying appointed by the Council or Councils; and

b) A person nominated by the Chief Officer of the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service or the Chief Officer of the Country Fire Service; and

c) A person with expertise in the area of fire safety appointed by the Council of Councils; and

d) If so determined by the Council or Councils a person selected by the Council or Councils.

The term of Office will be for a period of 3 years or a lesser time if resolved by the Council or Councils. Refer to S 71(19)b).

3. INSPECTION POLICY:

Inspections shall either be carried out as determined by fire authority or at the request of the fire authority; on an audit basis; or on predetermined high-risk initiative; or when a complaint or request is made by building owner or occupier concerning fire safety levels.

Buildings such as the hospital, nursing homes, entertainment and accommodation facilities, shopping centres and places of assembly all of which have frequent higher population densities and therefore require closer monitoring are considered as a higher risk priority for inspection purposes

The area of jurisdiction will encompass the whole of the gazetted and or legally recognised district area of each of the following;

The Berri Barmera Council;

The Renmark Paringa Council;

The District Council of Loxton Waikerie.

4. NOTICES:

The Committee will engage a proper site inspection to be carried out before issuing a fire safety notice so that any deficiencies, omissions or subsequent remedial direction is consistent with the issue at hand. The Committee can vary or revoke a fire safety notice at any time if it is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so. Pursuant to the Development Act, 1993, the Building Fire Safety Committee can authorise the following safety notices to be served on the building owner:

A Notice of Fire Safety Defect; and

- A Notice of Building Work Required.

Examples of these notices are contained in Appendix B of the Guide to Council Building Fire Safety Committees.

Fire Safety Notices alert the building owner that fire safety levels are inadequate and remedial action is required. The said Act stipulates that such a notice may require:

  • the owner to report to the Building Fire Safety Committee on building work or other measures necessary to ensure that the fire safety of the building is adequate; or
  • the owner to carry out a program of work, or other measures to overcome any fire hazard, or
  • evacuation of the building or part thereof until the Building Fire Safety Committee is satisfied that the fire hazard no longer exists.
  • an attached schedule detailing deficiencies in fire safety, potential fire hazards and remedial action requested by the Committee be integral to this Notice.

The Notice of Fire Safety Defect must stipulate a period of time (not less than 2 months Section 71 (3 & 4) in which the owner can make representations to the Building Fire Safety Committee about fire safety and remedy. The notice informs the recipient of the right of appeal pursuant to the Act whereby application to appeal is forwarded to the Environment Resources and Development Court within 14 days of the date of the notice pursuant to Section 71 (12) of the Act.

Building Work Required Notices are issued to the building owner when upgrading of the building structure is required to rectify deficiencies or omissions identified in a Notice of Fire Safety Defect.

Such Notice may require:

  • the owner to seek development authorisation to carry out a program of work or other measures to make the fire safety of the building or structure adequate. Safety rectification work may be carried out in stages provided that the agreed program of work eliminates or minimises risks that threaten the life safety of occupants as the first priority or;
  • action to prohibit occupation of the building, or part of the building, until the Building Fire Safety Committee is satisfied that the fire hazard no longer exists. A schedule detailing the building work to be undertaken shall accompany the Notice of Building Work Required.

A Notice of Building Work Required must also stipulate a period of time in which the prescribed works are to be completed. The specified time period may include time for the owner to obtain development approval where applicable.

The Notice must disclose the building owner/s Right of Appeal to the ERD Court under Division 6 of the Development Act, 1993.

5. ENFORCEMENT NOTICES:

The Building Fire Safety Committee may apply to the ERD Court for an order to remedy or restrain a breach of the Development Act. If the Court determines the respondent in breach of the Act, the Court may make an order to take reasonable action as the Court thinks fit under the circumstances. This can include ordering the respondent to pay penalties for failing to comply with a notice as prescribed in the regulations.

The Committee can commence proceedings for an Enforcement Order by filing the appropriate documents with the ERD Court. The summons must be in a format prescribed by the ERD Court Rules as illustrated in Appendix C of the Guide to Council Building Fire Safety Committees.

6. OPERATION OF COMMITTEE:

The Riverland Regional Building Fire Safety Committee will perform the required functions and duties pursuant to the Development Act and the Guide to Council Building Fire Safety Committees and may determine its own procedures, policies and actions to ensure efficient operation of the Committee to achieve the objectives of the Development Act.

Meetings of the Building Fire Safety Committee will generally be held at the offices of the Berri Barmera Council, however meetings may be convened at other suitable locations, at the discretion of the Committee members.

The District Council of Loxton Waikerie will provide necessary administrative support on the day of the Building Fire Safety Committee meetings and as necessary, to enable Minutes and Notices to be developed, approved and issued on the same day of the Committee meeting and inspections where possible.

Agendas, Minutes and documentation of the Building Fire Safety Committee will be held at the Offices of the DC Loxton Waikerie. Minutes and other relevant information will be provided for Council perusal as soon as practicable after meetings of the Building Fire Safety Committee.

Establishment & Terms of Reference of the Riverland Building Fire Safety Committee

Establishment

Pursuant to Section 71(18) &(19) of the Development Act 1993 the Council establishes a body to be known as the Riverland Building Fire Safety Committee ("Building Fire Safety Committee") for the purpose of acting as the "appropriate authority" (as the term is defined in the Development Act, 1993) in respect of all fire safety matters arising under section 71 of the Development Act 1993 as amended which are of a building fire safety nature.

Membership

Membership of the Building Fire Safety Committee shall consist of -

A person, (or a person appointed as his deputy) being a person appointed by the Councils and who holds prescribed qualifications in Building Surveying; Section 71 (19) a) i)

A person, (or other person nominated by the Chief Officer of the MFS) being a person nominated by the Chief Officer of the SA Metropolitan Fire Service; Section 71 (19) a) ii)

A person, (or other person nominated by the Chief Officer of the CFS), being a person appointed by the Councils as a person with expertise in the area of fire safety. Section 71 (19) a) iii)

A person, (or a person nominated by the Councils as his deputy) being a person selected and appointed by the Councils

All members of the Building Fire Safety Committee are appointed for a term of three years

The office of a member of the Building Fire Safety Committee will become vacant if the Member -

(i) dies; or

(ii) completes a term of office and is not reappointed; or

(iii) resigns by written notice addressed to the Council; or

(iv) is removed from office by the Council for any reasonable cause.

Terms of Reference

The terms of reference for the Building Fire Safety Committee are as follows -

(i) The Building Fire Safety Committee is charged with the responsibility for all matters arising under Section 71 of the Development Act 1993 which are of a building fire safety nature;

(ii) A quorum for a meeting of the Building Fire Safety Committee shall be three and one of those members shall be the person nominated by the Chief Officer of the relevant Fire Service (the fire service area where the building or buildings exist) or the person appointed by the Councils as a person with expertise in the area of fire safety;

(iii) All decisions of the Building Fire Safety Committee shall be made on the basis of a majority decision of the members present;

(iv) The Building Fire Safety Committee shall meet at the Berri Barmera Council’s Offices at 19 Wilson Street, Berri or at such other places as the Building Fire Safety Committee may from time to time determine;

(v) The Building Fire Safety Committee shall meet on a day and at a time nominated by the Presiding Member with a minimum of two ordinary meetings in each calendar year;

(vi) A member of the Building Fire Safety Committee who has a personal interest or a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any matter before the Building Fire Safety Committee (other than an indirect interest which exists in common with a substantial class of persons) must not take part in any deliberations or decisions of the Building Fire Safety Committee in relation to that matter;

(vii) The following provisions apply to the call of meetings -

(a) in the case of an ordinary meeting of the Building Fire Safety Committee, the Presiding Member must give each member of the Building Fire Safety Committee notice of a meeting at least three (3) clear days before the date of the meeting

(b) in the case of a special meeting of the Building Fire Safety Committee, the Presiding Member must give each member of the Building Fire Safety Committee notice of a meeting at least twelve (12) hours before the commencement of the meeting

(c ) notice may be given to a member of the Building Fire Safety Committee

• personally

• by posting it in an envelope addressed to the person at their usual or last known place of residence or business

• by facsimile transmission to a facsimile number known to be used by the person

• by email transmission to an email address known to be used by the person

(viii) Each member of the Building Fire Safety Committee present at a meeting must, subject to that person having an interest in the matter, vote on a question arising for a decision at that meeting;

(ix) The Presiding Member of the Building Fire Safety Committee must keep, or arrange to be kept, minutes of every meeting of the Building Fire Safety Committee. The minutes of the proceedings and meetings of the Building Fire Safety Committee must include -

(a) the names of the members present;

(b) in relation to each member present, if the member was not present for the entire meeting, the time at which the person entered or left the meeting;

(c ) its motion or amendments, and the names of the mover and seconder;

(d) whether a motion or amendment is carried or lost;

(e) any disclosure of interest made by a member

(x) The procedure to be observed at a meeting of the Building Fire Safety Committee insofar as the procedure is not prescribed by these terms of reference, may be determined by the Committee

(xi) Any outgoing correspondence arising from the activities of the Committee will be forwarded accompanied by a cover letter from the Council in who’s area the property which is the subject of the correspondence is situated. All incoming correspondence will be requested to be directed via the Council in who’s area the property which is the subject of the correspondence is situated.

(xii) Any costs incurred by the Committee shall be borne by the member Councils in accordance with the following guidelines

(a) any costs associated with the holding of meetings shall be evenly distributed between the member Councils

(b) any costs associated with inspections shall be met by the Council in who’s area the inspections are undertaken

(c ) any legal costs shall be met by the Council in who’s area the property which is the subject of the legal action is situated. Legal costs shall not be incurred without the consent of the subject Council’s Chief Executive Officer or delegate.

Graham MacInnes

Position Planning Officer
Address 29 East Terrace
LOXTON SA 5333
PO Box 409
LOXTON SA 5333
Contact Details Work: 08 8584 8000
Fax: 08 8584 6622
Email: gmacinnes@loxtonwaikerie.sa.gov.au
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