This is the sort of conversation one can have when discussing Council approval:
"Louvre windows won't be approved, you know...", the man says, looking sagely confident.
"Whyever not? These types of Queenslanders always had louvre windows". John and I would like authentic, wooden-framed windows in heritage style, not the garish aluminium sideways-sliding ones.
"Well the Bushfire BAL, flame zone, you know, not fire retardant enough, bushfire prevention, gotta keep the flames out. Couldn't give you a glazier's certificate, and council won't approve without certification. BASIX. Safety, you know." He nods, approvingly, of council regulations.
John and I look at him with astonishment. "But, mate ... It's a wooden house..." In my mind's eye I imagine a pile of smouldering ashes with some perky aluminium frames peeking out of the debris. Well at least the windows survived, one could say. The man continues to look sagely at us, hands in pockets, rocking confidently back and forth on his heels. I can't resist adding "And even so, it's a ludicrous argument. We're on a high, cleared, clean, wet hill with several springs and creeks. This area has simply not burned, not in the last century, and not in the history of the house", I shake my head, shrugging my shoulders.
He smiles smarmily at us, and waggles his eyebrows. "Ah. How do you know, hey, how do you know?" He makes the tut tut gesture, wagging his finger at me.
"Like I said. It's a wooden house. And it's still here."