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Ask Deborah Awyzio Your Own Question
Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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Received an enforcement notice on sustainable planning act

Customer Question

Received an enforcement notice on sustainable planning act 2009, dated on 30th of June.I wm a first home buyer in an acerage- easement proprty for powerlink.,Approached a contractor to clean and level the property to use a lawn mover, unfortunately the work has gone in an unprofessional manner, and he didnt finish the work. When i approached him, he told that he received the permission from council, and they permitted him to do the work since not any materials taking out and to the property. so I believed this permission is enough to carry out the work ,. I was not sure about the process too. Since the machine got repaired, he didnt finish the work and during 2 heavy rains,-storm water came around the house with mud, into the house and to the road and foot path. Council sent me enforcement notice and mentioned thet immediate cleaning work, soil erosion control and lodge operational works developmental application .Please advise me what i should do. I am not sure about the australian systems.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have paid $ 20000 and another $ 3000 already for the repairing and cleaning
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The estimated wait time is still 8 mins since last 20 mins.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The loss are not covered by Comminsure, by stating that the house is in a landslide area and the problems are due to the faulty trading, for that they cant do anything.Im in a financial stress too
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
How I can claim the insurance of my first contractor
Expert:  Leon replied 4 months ago.

Good Morning.

My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.

He cannot make an application to council without you singing the application as it is your property.

You are going to have to plead guilty to the notice and appoint a solicitor to see if you have any claim for negligence against the contractor for what he has done.

Do you have a contract with the contractor?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Sorry. I got an enforcement for Sustainanable planning act 2009, since I did excavation work in my property without permission from council and since the first contractor hasnt finish the work and not put any sort of erosion control measures while he was working, it ended up un soil and sediment to the road during heavy rains happened on Hune 4th and 18th. So Council mentioned in the letter that it is an environmentla nuisance too. I thought the contractor are getting permission from the council to do the work, as he explained that he got the permission from council since no materials taking into or out to the property, its fine to carry the work.Now Im not sure, what should be done.
Expert:  Leon replied 4 months ago.

Good Morning.

I understand.

But the contractor you appointed had not put in an application for approval for the work correct?

Do you have a contract with the contractor? If so what does it say he will do?

Expert:  Leon replied 4 months ago.

your payment for the call has failed.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I signed in a multipurpose form . Nothing is saying in that. Just mentioned that 5 days 24 t excavator to excavate and shape existing ground,2 days body truck to move and place material, 2 days bobcat to spread and level and 2 days of labourer or spotter
Expert:  Leon replied 4 months ago.

Did the agreement say that he will obtain all the necessary approvals?

Was he licenced?

What he has done is negligent. You may have a claim against him for the penalty you have to pay and any damage but you need to look at the detail in the contract.

Also if he is not licenced you can report him to the licensing authority for prosecution

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
but he didnt finish the work and not shaped in right direction and soil not compacted or not put drains. So water pooled around the house and road with mud
Expert:  Leon replied 4 months ago.

This is all a breach but you have to look at the agreement with him.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I called different people, they advised that for this work, he not need to be a licensed person. ABN is enough itseems
I have done all means to prevent the soil erosion now. paid extra $ 20000 with a proper contract and repaired and stabilised the land, cleaned the road and foot path with call out of 1320, and all slit fences put around and hydromulching put all around the property and footpath
Expert:  Leon replied 4 months ago.

It is building work and there should have been a plan to stop the erosion etc and council approval is required.

His failure to do the work is negligent and you can sue him.

Particularly if you have paid him

He has breached the contract.

Expert:  Leon replied 4 months ago.

You are liable for the notice and the fine as it is your land and the buck stops with you. But you can claim against him for your losses for the losses and damage you have suffered.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
first contractor not picking up the phone and not responding. Sent already complaint letter to email and insurance claim to his email. But there no response and not picking up the phone.My house insurance rejected since its a faulty trading and landslide property. Now Council os asking me to send them a plan or restore the premises as before
Expert:  Leon replied 4 months ago.

All of the extra costs you are incurring you can sue them for the losses.

You have to do what council is saying because you will be prosecuted.

You are going to have to get a solicitor to write to the contractors and threaten action against them.

This is your only choice. you are liable for the costs to council and to comply with their orders.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I dont have a plan for the previous work, and I didnt have control over him too. For the repairing work, i have a proper contract and sketch. So what they mean, I should draw a plan by me or with an engineer.
Expert:  Leon replied 4 months ago.

Good Morning.

He has been negligent.

You show them what you intend to do now to fix the problem. You get an engineer that understands the issue to draw the plan. You are not an expert.

This is all you can do.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It was just reshaping my easement property to use a lawnmover to make it reasonable clean to use. One driweway i requested him to put for access to my shed and for couse of powerlink, since it is an easement acerage
Expert:  Leon replied 4 months ago.

Good Morning.

All of this need council approval.

You cannot just do what you want. He has failed to properly advise you and now you are paying the price.

He has been negligent.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
But for drive way he cut in against the rule.
Now since i was ignorant about the process of getting permission from council , can I say the same to council. And it was true. I am a first home buyer and recent citizen of australia
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Do you recommend me to tellthe council that I was ignorent about getting permission for work as a landloard.Or it will be punishable
Expert:  Leon replied 4 months ago.

Good Morning.

Ignorance is no defence. You cannot argue you had no knowledge. You can sue him for doing the worn thing but not argue you were not aware.

I accept you did not know the rules and you relied on him but the law will still hold you responsible and you have to sue him for negligence.

You should speak to the council with an expert and get them to tell you what has to be done and also tell them what happened.

Bit you have to understand that they will still hold you responsible.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Council with an expert means a solicitor
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
or to directly talk to the enquiry officer of the council, who sent me the enforcement
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
what you think, I can go directly to the council, or to move with a solicitor
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
not answering
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
waiting a long.
Expert:  Leon replied 4 months ago.

Good Morning.

Sorry had to get to work

Not a Solicitor. It can be a town planner or surveyor that understands the council rules and also that needs to be done to mitigate the issues created by the contractor.

You can go to council directly but you cannot go on your own. Unless you are confident enough with any technical jargon.

You should have someone look at the issues and come up with a way to fix it with the least costs.

They go and see council.