ABC News makes claims not supported by CoM statement

ABC OnLine News service article titled:

Structure on collapsed wall did not have council permit

Is misleading. The article goes on and states:

The Melbourne City Council says a structure on a brick wall that collapsed in Carlton last month killing three people did not require council approval.

The statement published by the City of Melbourne does not claim or comment on the question if a permit or council approval was required.

The Council’s statement said:

We can confirm that the City of Melbourne has not issued a permit for the structure attached to the wall.  

There are four relevant legislative frameworks – Planning, Building, Occupational Health and Safety and Local Laws. There are intricacies in the way in which these interconnect and overlap.  These complexities are likely to be considered by the investigating authorities.

A CMP (Construction Management Plan) does not replace the need for Planning, Building or Local Laws approval for specific works. These must be sought separately.

The City of Melbourne does not intend to make any further comment at this time.

Other media outlets did not repeat the unsupported ABC News claim.
The question if a permit for the construction of the hoarding attached to the wall that collapsed is still the subject of review and debate.  Council local laws and Construction site Management guidelines require a permit for the construction of hoardings.

Statement published by the City of Melbourne

Statement regarding Swanston Street development permits

 Tuesday, 9 April 2013 

The City of Melbourne continues to assist the Coroner, WorkSafe and the Building Commission as they investigate the Swanston Street wall collapse.

While assisting those inquiries remains our priority, we can confirm that the City of Melbourne has not issued a permit for the structure attached to the wall.

There are four relevant legislative frameworks – Planning, Building, Occupational Health and Safety and Local Laws. There are intricacies in the way in which these interconnect and overlap.  These complexities are likely to be considered by the investigating authorities.

In general terms, the City of Melbourne oversees the interface between building sites and public space.

With regard to the wall collapse in Swanston Street, it should be noted that the wall was on private property.

The Swanston Street CUB site is a Comprehensive Development Zone. As a result of this designation, the Minister for Planning is the Responsible Authority for the issuing of planning permits relating to the site.

The Minister has issued a planning permit for the development of Swanston Square (building 5) and the Maltstore building. That permit required the developer to file a Construction Management Plan (CMP) with the Minister as the Responsible Authority. The Minister’s permit required that the CMP be prepared in accordance with the City of Melbourne’s CMP guidelines.

The purpose of the CMP is to set out how a site will be managed to minimise impact on the surrounding area. The CMP was reviewed by the City of Melbourne and was found to meet the requirements of the guidelines. The CMP covers Stage 1 of the development of the CUB site which is south of the area where the wall collapsed.

A CMP does not replace the need for Planning, Building or Local Laws approval for specific works. These must be sought separately.

The City of Melbourne does not intend to make any further comment at this time.

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