Darwin’s main hospital, prison among over 300 buildings potentially non-compliant with NT building standards – Michmutters

Darwin’s main hospital, prison among over 300 buildings potentially non-compliant with NT building standards

The Northern Territory’s anti-corruption watchdog has revealed hundreds of government buildings may not comply with their own occupancy regulations, including Parliament House, Royal Darwin Hospital and the Darwin prison.

In March, the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, Michael Riches, launched an investigation into the use of Darwin’s main sporting venue, Marrara Stadium, which has not had an occupancy certificate since it was built in the 1990s.

On Friday, Mr Riches said he has now expanded his investigation after obtaining details about other venues across the territory, which also do not have the required certification.

“I have received information suggesting there may be more than 300 other sites, either owned or leased by the Northern Territory Government, with buildings or structures that do not presently comply with occupancy certification requirements under the Building Act 1993 [NT],” he said.

Mr Riches said the affected sites include Parliament House, the prison at Holtze, the Royal Darwin Hospital, the Darwin Entertainment Centre, as well as numerous public schools and police stations.

An exterior photo of Parliament House in Darwin.  There are large palm trees out the front.
The seat of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly since 1994, Parliament House is among the buildings deemed non-certified.(ABC News: Michael Franchi)

Investigation to probe how ‘non-compliance’ has occurred

On its website, the government described occupancy certification as a “statement that building work has achieved a particular level of safety, health and amenity and is suitable to occupy”.

Mr Riches said he would conduct a joint investigation with the Ombudsman “to assess the extent of non-compliance and why and how it had occurred”.

“We want to hear from any person, particularly those who work in building, certification and building insurance industries, who might have information relevant to this investigation,” he said.

Aerial view of jail facility at Holtze, near Darwin.
The Darwin Correctional Center at Holtze was opened in 2014.(Supplied)

Government says buildings ‘safe for occupancy’

In response to questions from the ABC, Infrastructure Minister Eva Lawler said preliminary investigations showed the buildings affected were “safe for ongoing occupancy”.


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