Territory Stories

Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT



Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT

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Tabled paper 934


Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






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57 An Incident Cause Analysis Method Investigation was commenced by PWC on 28 November. The investigation found that the removal of the mounting bolts from the pillar cover contributed to the electric shock incident. It could not be established who had removed the bolts. The pillar covers are designed to prevent contact with the electrical cables underneath and provide protection from rain and dust. The Investigation reported that these types of covers are commonly used in the electrical industry and are found in a range of public locations and on private property. The location of pillar covers close to a boundary fence on private property is common and meets industry best practice. It was established that pillar covers are not subject to periodic inspection as they are designed not to require routine maintenance. However the investigation noted that pillar covers can be degraded by ultra violet light, vandalism, fires, accidental damage and termite nests. PWC advised that general inspections of distribution assets are carried out on an annual basis and if problems are found they are referred to contractors to repair. While there was no routine inspection of pillar boxes, they are inspected internally after each flood inundation event before being returned to service. The pillar box that caused the shock may have been last inspected after a flood event in the community in around January 2017, however there was no record of this. My Office recommended that periodic inspection and documentation of publicly accessible assets should occur as part of existing management schedules. PWC has confirmed this recommendation has been implemented. It was also recommend that PWC meet with the complainant in the community to explain how the incident was handled and the steps taken to prevent it happening in the future. PWC agreed to meet and the offer was made to the complainant. HOUSING APPROACHES There were 66 approaches to the Office relating to the Department of Housing and Community Development in 2017/18 (compared to 75 in 2016/17). Some issues raised by enquirers are set out in the table below. Issue Notes No. Repairs & Maintenance 20 Conduct of tenants and third parties Includes complaints about tenants, theft or damage to tenant property and anti-social behaviour 9 Financial issues Includes rental amounts, debts, deductions and rebates 7 Transfer of tenancy Includes refusal to transfer and delay 7 Availability of housing Includes calls for additional housing and issues relating to building new houses and refurbishment 5 Allocation of housing Includes priority housing 4 Termination/banning Incudes termination of tenancy and banning from premises 2 Some examples are set out on the following page.