Yes Prime Minister

I thought after my first blog I was done for a while but it seems that blogs at Oak Tree come in tandem. So continuing I thought I would give you an overview of my role within Oak Tree. My prime role is one of supplying documents (plans, reports receipts etc.) for the Development Approval (DA) and Building Approval (BA –CC dependent upon the jurisdiction) process. Bureaucracy today permeates our every pore and it is impossible for a project to proceed without complying with a myriad of rules.

Once a new site is sourced the process begins. Concepts are put together and a submission to the local authority (council) lodged for DA approval. During this phase the team is notified and work to compile a submission is triggered. These include Town Planner, Architect, Land scape Architect, Civil Engineer, Surveyor, Soils Engineer, Energy Efficiency Professionals as well as but not necessarily Environmental Scientist, Heritage Professionals and Traffic Engineer. The process includes referrals via the approving authority which and result in many requests for information from Electricity Authorities, Main Roads, Telecommunications, Water Supply, Sewerage, Transport (railways, airports etc.) or very unusual entities like Government Scientific Institutions (I once had to refer to the observatory at Coonabarabran to seek permissions about the way we treated street and work lighting as the light pollution might influence their ability to work and we were at a place called Warren west of Dubbo approximately 100km away.) Once the requisitions are dealt with, and you can imagine the fine detail, we will receive our DA approval. This could take six months – less if we are lucky or longer if we are not. It hasn’t finished here.

Next we make application for our BA. This usually through a private certifier but it has to comply with the full extent of the DA. Fees play a big role at this time and starting with contributions (biggest ticket item – usually many tens of thousands of dollars) we will have to pay for the certifier, Long Service leave levy, Council operational works application, Council plumbing application (dependent on jurisdiction), external works either in cold hard cash or kind (maybe conduct upgrade works which form part of the DA. There always seems to be a surprise. Councils will make sure that soil contaminations, water course pollution prevention etc. will be dealt with within the parameters set down in the DA.  We will have to deal with the costs involved in water, sewer, electricity and communications design and upgrades and enter into contracts for same. The timing on BA’s can be quite short if we have all the details in place. Once we have our BA in place it’s time to start work.

Throughout all the process is a constant “Yes Prime Minister” scenario. The bureaucratic system fills the firmament with minute detail and differing interpretations. This is my lot. I hope it helps you understand why things within the bureaucratic can take time.



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