Flushing away professionalism : is it unsustainable?

Khalife, Mohsen and Lustig, Terry 2005, Flushing away professionalism : is it unsustainable?, in On-site '05 : Performance Assessment for On-site Systems : Regulation, Operation and Monitoring : Proceedings of On-site `05 Conference, Lanfax Laboratories, Armidale, N.S.W., pp. 273-279.

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Title Flushing away professionalism : is it unsustainable?
Author(s) Khalife, Mohsen
Lustig, Terry
Conference name On-site `05 Conference (2005 : Armidale, N.S.W.)
Conference location Armidale, N.S.W.
Conference dates 27-30 Sep. 2005
Title of proceedings On-site '05 : Performance Assessment for On-site Systems : Regulation, Operation and Monitoring : Proceedings of On-site `05 Conference
Editor(s) Patterson, R. A.
Jones, M. J.
Publication date 2005
Conference series On-site Conference
Start page 273
End page 279
Publisher Lanfax Laboratories
Place of publication Armidale, N.S.W.
Summary Recently, a family was denied the right to subdivide their four-hectare property on the outskirts of Melbourne, Victoria into nine residential allotments ranging in size from 4000 m2 to 6600 m2. Unsuccessful applications and approaches in the past, prior to our commissioning in late 2003, had been rejected on the basis of assessments of poor land capability, onerous wet weather storage requirements and a curious 60 m buffer from a nearby intermittent watercourse. Restriction on the type of interim wastewater systems deemed suitable for five allotments was also a major issue. The site did not have mains power and had no sewer connections. The water authority and Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (V CAT) order, prior to commissioning of the authors, asserted that "reticulated sewer is the preferred infrastructure for the area under investigation". However, the requirements imposed followed the letter of the guidelines rather than the principles. Various professional reports had already been produced on behalf of both the client and the regulator. A review of these indicated that the project had not been assessed in accordance with standard practices, had unusually restrictive assumptions, and did not accord with government policies on ecologically sustainable development.
The paper highlights the importance of sustaining professional and ethical practices to avoid costly litigation. Some professionals may have been in breach of the Institution of Engineers' Code of Ethics; others may have been in need of professional development. The question also arises whether the regulator had sought to use these adverse reports in order to satisfy unrelated planning issues.
While the writers managed to succeed in convincing the VCAT that these restrictions were unnecessary, the client ultimately had to comply with the regulator's wishes because of financial pressures. This unnecessary regimentation raises the issue of how best to safeguard lay people of moderate means against the practices of professional people who know or should know better.
ISBN 0957943822
Language eng
Field of Research 090701 Environmental Engineering Design
Socio Economic Objective 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2005, Lanfax Laboratories
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30005711

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Engineering and Technology
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