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Government to crack down on ‘cowboy’ certifiers signing off on dodgy projects

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The state government is taking action to prevent conflicts of interest between building certifiers and developers who pay them to do the job.

Developers are currently able to choose who certifies their property, an arrangement Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean says is a “problem”.

“What I’m proposing is to give Fair Trading real teeth to be able to crack down and the cowboys and skivs that are doing the wrong thing,” Mr Kean tells Ray Hadley.

“The majority of certifiers do the right thing… there are some crooks giving the whole industry a bad name.

“These laws are designed to crack down on them and improve the independence in the system.

“The situation where a developer can choose their mate to sign off on a dodgy project, I want to see completely eradicated.”

The New South Wales government has released an options paper which sets out potential ways to tackle the issue.

“We’re looking at a number of things to do. One of the options we’re looking at is a cab rank system, so the developer gets the certifier next in line.”

The government’s decision comes just weeks after Ray Hadley exposed a unit complex at Castle Hill had been issued an occupation certificate despite its shocking condition.

The Better Regulation Minister says the certifier who cleared the building has “got form” and has faced disciplinary action three times “for signing-off certificates” when the development wasn’t finished.

“I’m asking my department how is it we haven’t kicked this guy out of the industry? That’s exactly why we’re trying to address it.”

Click PLAY below to hear from Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean