Ross passes milestone
By PETER CATON
WHEN Ross Cameron began work as a Tweed Shire building inspector in 1979 he knew the name of everyone in the Council headquarters at Murwillumbah - but not any more.
"There were a lot less of us back then," he said after marking 25 years on the staff last week, joining nine others who have reached the quartercentury milestone in the Council offices in the last 15 months.
When he joined, the health and building department had only five inspectors carrying out all health, building and plumbing approvals and in- spections. Today there are 12.
But has the time taken to get a building approval decreased with the extra staff? Of course not.
Not only has the amount of building work multiplied, especially following a building boom around Banora Point and South Tweed Heads in the mid-1980s, but legal requirements and regulations have snowballed.
"The approval process is starting to get bogged down," Mr Cameron confessed.
"Now you have got so many things you have to refer back to Sydney. There are more Australian Standards, more planning issues you have to consider." Members of the public are also more willing to complain, with complaints taking up more time.
The ever-changing and increasing demands also mean building inspectors must keep up to date with the latest requirements. For instance, on Monday Mr Cameron must attend a training seminar at Ballina on the NSW Government's new energy efficiency requirements for homes.
As the Council's senior health and building surveyor Mr Cameron oversees most of the major construction projects in the shire - including the 18-storey Twin Towns Tower now un- derway at Tweed Heads.