Court pings couple for ‘no permit’

A Latrobe Valley couple have been fined $30,000 each for building an extension onto their home without a building permit in the Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court.

The couple will be forced to comply with a building order and have been ordered to pay the legal costs of Latrobe City Council after being convicted for breaching the Building Act in a hearing late last month.

Latrobe City municipal building surveyor Christopher Watson said every opportunity had been afforded to the owners to justify and rectify the building works.

“Most builders do the right thing and follow good building practice. The owners not only failed to get a building permit before starting on their works but they repeatedly failed to heed advice, direction and building orders,” Mr Watson said.

“Council realises that sometimes it can be difficult to understand what is required when building a house or doing substantial renovations so it is important that people seek help or advice before starting the project.”

Mr Watson said breaches to the Building Act were serious offences and could compromise the structural integrity, safety and amenity of a building.

“Council has an obligation to ensure compliance with the Building Act and as shown in this recent case substantial penalties can be imposed for offences committed,” he said.

RSL charter confirmed

Rosedale RSL has confirmed its charter will be reinstated in February after fears its hall would be sold.

The charter will be presented by the Victorian president of the RSL and the president of the RSL Women’s Council.

The sub-branch folded years ago with members and the property absorbed into the Traralgon RSL.

But Traralgon RSL’s intention to sell the Duke Street property, after it concluded “no long-term future” for the building, saw former members rally to save the hall and re-establish membership.

Rosedale RSL member Molly Anderson said 24 people attended a meeting at the RSL hall last week, chaired by their new president Harry Tuck.

Mrs Anderson said there were plans to repaint the outside of the hall, and make repairs to the weatherboards.

“We’ll be looking after veterans and I know in my heart the women will be doing all the fundraising,” Mrs Anderson said.

Maffra RSL president Lindsay Morton was in attendance, as well as Morwell RSL members, who gifted a box of war related books to start a library at the Rosedale RSL.

Volunteer to drive

A program that helps learner drivers gain vital on-road experience is calling out for volunteers.

The L2P program is a state-wide initiative sponsored by VicRoads and was developed to support young people as part of Victoria’s Graduated Licensing system.

To date almost 5000 Victorians have benefited from the program.

The program is currently looking for volunteers with driving experience to help learner drivers gain on-the-road driving experience.

Training is provided and anybody interested in becoming a volunteer mentor should phone Latrobe L2P coordinator Jennifer Murray on 5134 5971.