A BUILDER who falsely claimed an engineer had issued compliance certificates at sites across Victoria has failed to convince a tribunal to ease sanctions imposed by the state's building regulator.
Craig Barker had admitted to false representations about certificates of compliance for sites including sheds in Sedgwick and Castlemaine, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.
The Dandenong resident and director of A-Line Building Systems Pty Ltd appealed the penalties imposed by the Victorian Building Authority, including fines totalling $25,000.
Mr Barker's company designs, fabricates and supplies steel framed garages, farm sheds and industrial buildings.
He had been a registered builder since February 1997, and was involved in several types of domestic and commercial building work.
Mr Barker used an engineer's name, address, signature and registration number for 26 sites between 2012 and 2017, VCAT heard.
That engineer had not certified designs for the site or inspecting building work.
There is no suggestion the engineer was complicit in Mr Barker's actions.
VCAT heard that when the engineer found out his name was being used, he approached Mr Barker and A-Line.
Mr Barker and the company signed a deed confirming the engineer had not assessed the buildings or authorised the signature on the certificates.
The Victorian Building Authority investigated and fined Mr Barker, cancelled his building registrations, disqualified him for 18 months and issued reprimands.
He later told the building authority hearing he had lacked insight when the issue first arose but was now clear on requirements.
A-Line now asks a full-time engineer to preside over every job and his business no longer undertakes installation work, just fabrication and sales, Mr Barker told that hearing.
He said he was no longer the sole director of the company.
VCAT heard this was the only time Mr Barker had been the subject of disciplinary action.
It ruled he had engaged in unprofessional conduct and was not a fit and proper person to practice as a building practitioner, though it disagreed with the Victorian Building Authority that his actions were negligent.
VCAT upheld the $25,000 in fines, reprimanded Mr Barker, cancelled two building registrations and banned him from holding any more for 18 months.
It ruled that the penalties were "just and appropriate" given the need to protect the public and the seriousness of Mr Barker's actions.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.