Lake Macquarie Council gives builders online option

By Lilia Guan

Lake Macquarie City Council is offering builders access to an online service for booking building inspections.
The council’s manager development assessment and compliance, Steve Brown said builders only had the option of telephoning Council to book inspections, before the new online service was introduced.
“Council initiated the online inspection booking service so builders working in the Lake Macquarie area have the convenience of booking their building inspections after normal business hours,” he said.
Mr Brown told Government News the council was in communication with customers who constantly worked in the fields.
“We know a lot of builders and building companies are using smart phones and tablet technologies in the course of their business, so it made sense for us to add an online option,” he said.

“We have received some great feedback and we will continue to talk to builders in the area to ensure this service meets their needs and expectations.”
The system works by allowing builders to book their preferred day and time and a council officer will be in contact by telephone if the preferred day and time is unavailable. 
Next day bookings must be submitted by 2pm each day.
Inspections are required at various stages throughout the development process to ensure compliance with development consent conditions.
The online building inspection booking service is available for builders who have appointed Lake Macquarie City Council as their Principal Certifying Authority.
Lake Macquarie council’s operational team leader, Sue Bidas said the council’s in-house webmaster created the online form and maintains the council’s website.
Mr Brown said having an in-house webmaster helped to keep funding for such projects to a minimal.
“You can’t move into the 21st century without providing electronic services,” he said.
“We are also trialling the online lodgement of development applications for home builders for every single aspect or lodgement – including determination judgement.
“We will be monitoring the online application until the end of the year, with plans to make it accessible in 2013.”

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