Building surveyors fined for substandard work – Matthew James Deal and Inclusive Building Consultants Pty Ltd

  • Certificates failed to show compliance with applicable building standards
  • Permit authorities misled when issuing related building and occupancy permits
  • Education order and $15,000 in total fines after another $7,000 fine in 2018

Noranda-based building surveyors have been ordered to complete further study and pay $15,000 in fines due to errors and substandard work while certifying five buildings.

Building surveying practitioner Matthew James Deal (BSP370), the sole director of building surveying contractor Inclusive Building Consultants Pty Ltd (BSC385), attended the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) on 20 March 2023 following disciplinary allegations by the Building Services Board under WA’s building registration laws.

Following SAT mediation, Mr Deal and his company agreed they engaged in negligent and misleading conduct while carrying out building surveying services.

Certificates of design compliance (CDCs) and a certificate of building compliance (CBC) were signed by Mr Deal and issued by Inclusive Building Consultants in relation to five buildings in Bennett Springs, Midland, Belmont and Cottesloe.

Through a CDC, a building surveyor declares a building will comply with applicable building standards if it is constructed in accordance with the plans and specifications. A CBC declares that the completed building does comply with applicable standards.

However, the certificates provided by Mr Deal were found to have inaccuracies, inconsistencies and missing or insufficient information.

At one Midland site, the CDC noted technical documents for a building of two storeys or more while also referring to engineering information that clearly indicated a single-storey construction.

At the other Midland location, requirements for structural matters, fire-rated construction, fire services, accessibility, stairs, fall protection, sound transmission, energy efficiency and other features were non-compliant or not documented.

In Bennett Springs, a proposed door entry to the swimming pool area was certified as compliant when special approval from the permit authority had not been sought, as required by building regulations.

An initial CDC misclassified a Cottesloe apartment as a single dwelling. References to this error remained, even when the certificate was reissued with the correct building class, while other documents referred to in the CDC lacked clarity on several issues.

Mr Deal and his company provided the CBC for a mezzanine floor at a Belmont warehouse without inspecting it. The CBC and related documents were found to be unclear and lacking key information such as the mezzanine’s intended use and sufficiently detailed building plans.

Mr Deal and Inclusive Building Consultants accepted that their conduct fell short of the standard expected for registered building surveyors. The deficient certificates also misled permit authorities when they issued building permits and an occupancy permit based on them.

Mr Deal was fined $13,000 and must complete two units of study by January 2025 through Central Queensland University’s Associate Degree of Building Surveying. Inclusive Building Consultants was fined $2,000.

In 2018, Mr Deal and his company were fined $7,000 by the Building Services Board for negligent or incompetent conduct by providing a CDC for a Mandurah accommodation development where several non-compliant access and safety elements were identified.

Building and Energy Executive Director Saj Abdoolakhan said registered building surveyors must uphold the high standards expected of their role.

“Any irregularities can affect the safety, health and amenity of the building occupants so a thorough and diligent approach is essential when certifying that building plans and building work demonstrate compliance,” Mr Abdoolakhan said.

“In this case, the certifications fell far short of the expected standards and did not demonstrate that the proposed and existing building work would comply with the applicable building standards.”

Last year, Building and Energy published a Code of Conduct for building surveyors and a project is underway to develop a Code of Practice.


Media contact:

Building and Energy
Media release
05 Apr 2023

Last modified: