Peak Towers certifier in China at time of final inspection
A NSW Fair Trading investigation has revealed that notorious building certifier Maurice Freixas contravened state planning laws when he issued dodgy construction and occupation certificates (OC) for the Peak Towers apartments.
Mr Freixas had already been issued with a lifetime ban by NSW Fair Trading, but further investigations that reviewed Border Force and mobile phone records reveal that he was in China when he claimed to have carried out the final inspection at Peak Towers.
NSW Fair Trading Minister Eleni Petinos said investigators found Maurice Freixas, formerly of Dix Gardner, failed to carry out the statutorily required final inspection of the completed building before issuing a June 2019 occupation certificate on 108 units, worth $22 million.
“We’ve issued a lifetime ban to Mr Freixas and this should serve as a stern warning to any unscrupulous certifier that you will be met with the full force of the law,” Ms Petinos said.
“The legislation is clear, a certifier must carry out a full and proper final inspection of a building. This is something that cannot be done from overseas.
“Certification work is a crucially important function with potential impacts on public safety and all certifiers must carry out their work to the highest standard or they will face severe consequences.”
Other failings were also found to exist in the certifier’s sign-off of four other buildings where construction certifications were issued where the buildings would not comply with relevant requirements of the Building Code of Australia.
Mr Freixas is now the third private certifier from Dix Gardner to have their registration cancelled following investigations by state regulators. Dix Gardner can no longer offer certification services in NSW.
Anyone with complaints is encouraged to contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or visit the NSW Fair Trading website.